“People spread out their coats on the roadway.” Luke reports. Rider and colt passed on softened streets. (19:36) No majestic horses for a march of triumph. The colt of a donkey. “Silly time,” one observer said. Some got it. Do we?
1) Bring your second coat.
In the middle of our Palm Sunday service, an email from close friends in Australia flashed on our Zoom screen, and the pictures from the Leura Uniting Church. At the end of their sermon, each took off their coat and spread it down the center aisle. “Hosanna, the King is coming.” Later they are all are gathered and taken to the center that aids the homeless, Junction 142. They will be distributed along with socks, beanies, gloves, sleeping bags and tarps. When our California congregation saw the pictures, they cheered. Ursula Green said, “What an amazing idea, I hope it spreads around the church universal.” It reminded us of Pastor Ed Bacon at All Saints, the Episcopal Church a block from Fuller Seminary. Preaching from Luke 3:11 he called any second coat in one’s closet a “Sin Coat” and asked for them to be turned in. Next morning 125 coats were piled at his office door We are talking about our coats and clothing and our nearby MCC Thrift stores. Bring that other coat!
2) Easter Sunday.
Easter Breakfast and worship, no zoom, no boxes on a screen, Easter hymns in four parts around a big table set for 14. Birds provide accompaniment, the breeze is soft and fragrant from the herbal garden, and we know that Christ is with us in this circle of love, support and prayer. Next week back to zoom, but we will look different to each other because we met in the garden.
3) Why did Jesus die?
Michele Hershberger has a way with words, ideas, and deep thoughts. In our homebase church, we have been approaching Easter this April walking with Michele by discussing her book, Why did Jesus die? (Herald, 2019). Concise, precise, incisive. She lifts the questions we feel but may not have asked. What difference does it make? She asks. Something to talk about, truths to carry all week.
4) Healing our Hauntings.
Thirty years ago this weekend, Los Angeles exploded, we will gather to commemorate the LA Uprising. The Family Mennonite Church is just around the corner from where it began, Normandie and Manchester in south central. A panel speaking for Pacific-Southwest Mennonite Conference, for MCC and for ReconciliAsian, guest speakers from Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, and LA Together will awaken memories and touch the soul. Potluck and worship tie all together. Blood, ashes, scars, empty lots, continuing injustices join to make these memories painful, personal, the reality of our broken humanity.
5) Now Hear This.
This Great Performances PBS series by renowned violinist and conductor of Mexico City Philharmonic, Scott Yoo, widens one’s musical world beautifully. Now in its second season, Yoo introduces some of the greatest music ever written and equally pursues the forgotten and ignored, like Amy Beach, or Florence Price (they were women, or racially stigmatized, or both) brilliant composers, performers, musical genuses we now can’t forget. We think you must see and hear this series and if you get PBS online look up all the back programs. Revelatory!