Thought for the day:
In Matthew 21, Jesus rides a mother donkey, her baby beside her, into Jerusalem in blatant condemnation and contrast to the militaristic entry of Roman military leaders and soldiers on war horses through a different gate. The point of Palm Sunday was activism: a political protest against war and the domination systems of oppression. The symbol Jesus chose for his protest was a mother and child. When the people shouted “Hosannah,” which means “save us,” they were asking to be liberated from the terrible economic and political oppression of imperial injustice. Jesus’ message of egalitarian Common Good and a kin-dom of JustPeace brought people hope and inspiration for a better future of mutual thriving and wellness.
Divine Source, You who Conceive and Birth and Nourish all Creation, open our hearts to the Way of Salvation that will bring liberation and mutual thriving to our Earth today. To honor Christ with Palm branches, may we protect Palm forest habitats for the orangutans who cry “Hosanna! Save us!” To honor the mother donkey and her baby, may we advocate for mothers everywhere, who are the most impoverished people in our society. May we always remember that You are Mother of All, ever ready to embrace us, cradle us, tend our wounds, nourish our spirits, and remind us that we, ourselves, are the Way of Salvation, growing over and over from your Dark Soil to your Light and back, nourished and nourishing, healed and healing, always giving away the Love we receive, and becoming our true, Divine selves through the power of healing Love.
Continue reading “Feminist Holy Week Vaginal Christology Devotional, Part 1 by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”
Within the Christian tradition, this week – l known as Holy Week – is perhaps the most significant week on the Christian calendar. During this week Christians are called to contemplate and to remember the core events of Christian identity—the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Given the focus of this week for many Christians I am sharing my theological reflections on the crucifixion-resurrection event.
As I begin this reflection, it is important to recall that which I and others have pointed out in other places. In Jesus’ first century Roman world crucifixion was reserved for slaves, enemy soldiers and those held in the highest contempt and with lowest regard in society. To be crucified was, for the most part, an indication of how worthless and devalued by established power an individual was. It also indicated how much of a threat that person was believed to be to the order of things. There was a decided crucified class of people. These were essentially the castigated and demonized as well as the ones who defied the status quo of power. It is in this respect that I believe Jesus’ crucifixion affirms his identification with the marginalized and outcasts. Indeed, on the cross Jesus fully divests himself of all pretensions to power and anything that would compromise his bond with those most othered in the world. The reality of the cross further affirms the profundity of god’s bond with put-upon bodies..
Continue reading “Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Reversal of Power by Kelly Brown Douglas”
What does it mean to be created through the scars of a (m)other? And what does it mean to be made new—to be recreated—by them?
It is my first Easter without my mother. My sister Jody reminded me of how much my mother loved religious holidays, especially Easter. One of my striking last moments with my mother was in the hospital operating room when the nurse was preparing her for a surgical procedure. As the nurse opened up the back of the hospital gown, she exclaimed: “What beautiful markings you have.” She was referring to the scars on my mother’s back from a previous heart surgery. “It’s like a work of art.” My mother never viewed them like that. Instead, she often kept her multiple scars hidden from us. But there were moments, as a young girl, when I would glimpse them, those in the front between the buttons of her tightly starched blouses, and those on her back when she’d be ironing her Sunday dress in her satin slip. I was both intrigued and scared by these tracks on my mother’s body, just as I was by the ticking of her mechanical heart valve that I could hear when I stood next to her, the traffic in the house at a standstill. Both were reminders to us that her life was sustained yet fragile.
Much of Western literature tells the stories of fathers and son. And the dominant Christian storyline has also been patrilineal. Continue reading “Resurrecting Scars by Shelly Rambo”
Being passive spectators of violence and injustice, even if mournfully so, is not just a thing of Panem, it is our everyday reality.
In The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins takes the reality of an unjust society and gives it an imaginative makeover. In Panem, most people are kept at such extreme levels of hunger that even when they do eat they cannot fill the hollowness that has settled in their stomachs, while others are deciding on the next cosmetic alteration they will undertake – whiskers, jewel implants, or green-tone skin color? The disparate conditions between the rich and the poor, the few and the many are absurdly and starkly portrayed but done so in a way that we can still recognize our world in theirs. And at the center of this world is the state imposed ritual of punishment and control, the yearly Hunger Games – a nationally televised competition that all the people of Panem are required to watch. The 12 districts watch mournfully as two kids from each of their districts compete to the death, and the wealthy watch gleefully, for the games are the height of their excesses and entertainment. The yearly Games conclude when one kid, the lone ‘victor’, is left standing. All while the nation watches. Continue reading “The Hunger Games, Holy Week, and Re-imaging Ritual by Xochitl Alvizo”