Category Archives: Lent

Malchus the Slave, a story for Holy Week (part 2)

Back in the high priest’s chamber, Malchus stands waiting for his next orders.  His head is bowed, eyes to the ground by law; his breathing is shallow still, his thoughts skimming along the surface of the sounds of accusation breaking over and around him.  Sounds he hears with two good ears.

Ridiculous, wild statements, outright lies, preposterous tales fall to the floor around Jesus, but don’t seem to touch him. That’s the carpenter’s name, then.  He’s heard stories about a Jesus. This is him? Finally one claim–“He said, ‘Destroy the temple and in three days I’ll rebuild it!'”–rang true.

Caiaphus standing in his weighty robe of authority, uses his most commanding, intimidating voice. “I order you, by the living God, to tell us the truth. Are you the Messiah, the son of God?” Continue reading

Malchus the Slave, a story for Holy Week (part 1)

Rousted out of bed in the dank midnight, he fumbles into his robe and follows as he’s ordered.  He didn’t quite catch why it was that he was part of this group.  Now as they wind their way up the hill, the torchlight flickering on the path is not enough to prevent stubbed toes and stumbling over rocks.

Olive-Grove2 (1)They’ve been commanded to be silent, so any injury produces no more than a close-lipped grunt.  Some pebbles roll away from their passing, but there is no other sound. He tries to glance before and behind without tripping. It appears that all the household slaves are here, as well as Caiaphus’ armed guards, and some others he’s seen in the Temple courtyard.  A variety of swords and cudgels swing from beefy fists.  But not from his. He is not permitted to own a weapon.  Where are they going?  It  looks like a grove of olive trees.  He can see the outline of their twisted shapes against the moonlit sky. Continue reading

Lenten Thoughts, Week 5

Lent, like its cousin, Advent, is about waiting: forty days (more or less) of preparing for the biggest celebration of the Church year.  As with Advent, there is a strong element of anticipation, of longing for the joy of that celebration. For believers who live in personal relationship to Christ, this longing is not so much for an annual festivity but for its ultimate fulfillment.

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Lenten Thoughts, week 4

The powers-that-be are naming winter storms now.  “Saturn” is blowing and blustering fitfully outside my window as midnight approaches. It doesn’t appear to be the (gasp!) “super storm” that it was predicted to be yesterday. No surprise, really. Here in Indiana we seem to have a meteorological non-event every other week. But on Monday the grocery store check out lanes were all full of people stocking up on bread, milk, peanut butter, toilet paper and other essentials to ride out a blizzard…potato chips, soft drink, frozen pizza–you know, staple foods.

Taking no chances, I did the same (well, I bought milk). It got me thinking about preparedness in general…

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Lenten Thoughts, week 3

[Part of this article was originally published in February 2009.]

I’m not sure why my thoughts strayed to piano teaching the other morning when I was praying. (Why do my thoughts ever stray at that time? A perennial question.  Sigh.)  I recalled my conversation with Angela about the “hard parts” needing more practice than the “easy parts.”

“Think about it, honey,” I said.

“If some measures are really easy for you, and some give you lots of trouble, how does it help to just start at the beginning and play the piece straight through?  You’d always be playing the easy parts just as much as you do the hard ones.”

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