Sheryl Crow sings, “A Change Will Do You Good.” I like Sheryl Crow and will likely be listening to her a lot next week when I take a few days off. We were supposed to go to Santa Fe with friends to enjoy the mountains, landscape, city, and the green and red chile. We booked the time so I could rest a bit before Pastor Pam goes on sabbatical from April 5 – July 5. (I obviously won’t be leaving town then!) Due to the pandemic, New Mexico would rather we stay away. Lately, our lives have made us a bit more cautious as well. So, vacation will be a staycation where I work in the basement and cook New Mexican Cuisine. It is a change. But the change will do us good.
The paradox of religious faith today is that the church has, on the one hand, never been as irrelevant as it is today. On the other hand, the faith of the church has never been more essential. In a world that becomes ever more secularized and so, less religious, the role that faith played in the world has been abandoned. To me, it means that love has become scarce just when it is most needed.
Suffering has been a strong theme in the lectionary readings for last Sunday and for this Transfiguration Sunday. Do you like to suffer? If you do, let me know, because that is not a usual nor healthy human response. We try to avoid suffering at all costs. And when we do suffer, some put on stoic faces to not let anyone know. We want to be strong, or at least appear that way. It is not just our human suffering that we avoid, but we also dismiss the idea of a suffering Savior. Perhaps we resist that idea, because we are ones who know that if we are going to follow Jesus, then we are also going to be vulnerable to suffering ourselves. We would really prefer the easy way Jesus!