The Journey Is Just Beginning

9 04 2007

This beautiful quilt submitted by Carol Honderich is the last of our Lenten offerings. I have saved it until after Easter because it seems to sum up the whole of the journey that we have taken together over the last few weeks. But I also realize as I reflect on its message that our journey is not really over but just beginning.

What decisions have you made during Lent and Easter this year that will have a lasting impact on your life? What changes have you decided to make that flowed from your reflections during this season? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas from what we have shared and suggestions for the next step of the journey.

lent-quilt-carol-honderich.jpg

Although I didn’t make this for this series, I would like to share a Lent Quilt that I made a few years ago. There are seven blocks – each block (week) following the Life of Jesus from prophecy to resurrection. The blocks are traditional quilt blocks, selected for the connection I could make with the season and the story of Jesus. The fabrics are satins. The border and sashing quilting design (difficult to see in this photo) is a grapevine, with (top left) the Communion Wine Goblet and Bread and (top right) the Crown of Thorns and the nails of the cruxifiction.

The Blocks/Themes of this quilt are:

(Top Center) Star and Cross – the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah – prophecy of his birth (star) and death (cross).

(Row 2 – Left) Road to Jerusalem – Both figuratively and actually, the life and ministry of Jesus was a “road to Jerusalem.” This block has significance for Jesus’ entire life, and for the three years of his ministry, and especially for the days prior to the Last Supper, the cruxifiction and resurrection.

(Row 2 – Right) Hosannah – Representing Palm Sunday

(Row 3 – Center) Golgatha – Representing the Cruxifiction

(Row 4 – Left) Cross and Crown – Representing the fulfillment of the prophecy – even death did not prevent Jesus from becoming the King of Kings.

(Row 4 – Right) Lilies – the traditional flower of Easter, used in this quilt block to represent Easter Sunday and Jesus’ resurrection.

Thanks again for your meaningful series.

Carol Honderich, Marketing Assistant

Mennonite Mission Network





Jesus Falls on the Road to the Cross

6 04 2007

The shrouded cross

Jesus Falls on the road to the Cross – Timothy McNeely

I.

The earth was still heart-dark

between his toes. He breathed

the air of Eden. Dust of earth,

man rose from the ground

where God had formed his flesh.

II.

John and the prophets came in skins

or bald; through holes in walls;

they were fed by birds,

or cooled by wild vines.

We wanted none of them.

III.

Then the second Adam stood

to drink the brimful cup;

and hit again he fell again,

weighed down by burdens

and the tree he’d hang upon.

Ground in the dust, his blood

began to mingle back with earth.

God’s son collapsed,

Golgotha close at hand.

IV.

This single man who had no sin

was a thorn in the flesh

and an embarrassment to us.

We sought no word or counsellor;

we wished for silent gods.

This man on whom we spent our wrath,

he heard our wish; and God

was silent for a time,

and turned his face away

from us in our free will.

V.

Bruised and bloodstained,

he crawled on towards that place

where we would fill his cup

and curse his name, who gave us wine,

who taught our consciences.

On the road to Calvary he fell

three times to earth – ground

that he had made himself –

the Word begotten for this day.

Jesus Falls

This poem was contributed by Timothy McNeely of Tacoma Washington. The photos come from a 2004 Stations of the Cross at Notrh Seattle Friends Church.





The Passover meal

5 04 2007

Carrying the crossThe following reflection was sent to us earlier this week by Douglas Woods who celebrated the Jewish Passover with his family this year. It impacted me powerfully as I considered my own busy life and the contrast between what I do with my days and the incredible event we are celebrating. It seemed a very appropriate reflection for the day before Good Firday.

Today, the 15th day of the month of Nisan was Passover. It struck me as I went about my busy day today that just shy of 2000 years ago today, Jesus died, but that for God all time is now.

While I was busy getting the kids off to school, Jesus was busy staggering his cross to Calvary.

While I was busy at the store buying my bitter herbs, Jesus was busy being nailed to the cross.

While I was busy choosing the Seder wine, Jesus was rejecting the wine with gall.

While I went through my busy day – doing both good and evil – Jesus hung on the cross and took it all.

While the kids were packing up there school supplies, Jesus was commending his Mother to John.

While I was busy picking up the kids, Jesus was busy dieing.

While I went about preparing our Seder Dinner, Joseph of Arimathea was negotiating for Jesus’ body.

While our family celebrated our simple Seder dinner, Joseph and Nicodemius buried Jesus in the tomb.

While I was busy washing the dishes the authorities were busy sealing His tomb.

It was a very busy day.





Reflections on the Mutunga Challenge

19 03 2007

By Grace Boettcher

 

Feb 21-28… This week I am trying out the $2 of food/day challenge. I made my list including ingredients for a soup, some cheese, beans, rice, and burritos. Bananas and carrots are my fruits and veggies. But now as I sit down in front of my very small burrito I cannot help but look for salsa in the fridge, the one that’s been kept there since the beginning of time. I’m not cheating, really, I’m allowing more room in the fridge…

I space out my food supply, making sure I have enough to last me till the end of the week. Unfortunately, my stomach is not very happy with this new diet and I usually make it to mid afternoon before I get the shakes, can’t focus on my work and my energy sinks to below sub level. The logical solution: indulge in a cup of coffee. By the time dinner rolls around I am convulsing and have nothing but broth and veggies to calm me down. I begin to wonder if some ice cream that has also been in the freezer since the beginning of time would cure my problem. Again, allowing for more room in the freezer. When I hit the hay I am weak and am not able to think straight, but I dread getting up in the morning to face the one fried egg and half a banana that will fill me up for the morning.

In the land of plenty, I should not be going to bed hungry. That is the logical conclusion my mind jumps to. I should indulge along with the richest of the rich. My frustration increases throughout the week because I realize how much I do indulge, in fact, I indulge all the time. My lifestyle is one of the most comfortable and indulging lifestyles there are compared to these people who have nothing, and not even the possibility of anything. I am also frustrated because I am so dependent on my indulgences. I do not know how to live without them, how to maneuver my way around them, how to live with less in a society that screams “you NEED this!”

The end of the week has rolled around and I unfortunately do not have the successful results of some. In fact, mine are quite opposite. In this defeat I go back to the source of the challenge: to identify with the poor. I am quite incapable of living like the poor, but I am capable of living in simplicity. I have learned that I can look beyond my immediate need and find Christ loving me because I am so poor in spirit. Maybe this week has helped prepare me for something greater.