Easter 3: Same Song Different Day?

This Sunday’s readings move us to the second part of a “Risen Christ” experience: the part where we are asked to change.

Jesus: “Do you love me?”

Peter:  “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus: “Feed my sheep.”

IOW, “Quit hanging out in high priest’s courtyard while the other disciples are elsewhere, quit jumping in and out of fishing boats and leaving others behind. Do things differently. Be changed. Feed my sheep.”

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Photo by Parij Borgohain on Pixabay

Very challenging. Apparently it is not enough for us to say, “Yes Lord, you know that we love you” unless we are also willing to make changes and better care for one another.

There are so many ways in which we could change.

  • We live in an inherently racist society that bestows unearned privilege on some and unfairly burdens others.  We could change and start working to dismantle that unjust system.
  • We have become a society in which many cannot afford basic nutrition or health care. We could change and start building a system that meets those human needs.
  • We shop and dine and otherwise gather in buildings that make the disabled feel like an unwelcome nuisance. We could change and start building facilities that are fully accessible.
  • We pray and worship using sexist language. We could change and start re-writing our liturgical language.
  • We are watching anti-Semitic rhetoric turn into deadly violence. We could change and eliminate anti-Jewish hymns, prayers and bible readings (like “the conversion of Saul” – this Sunday’s first reading) from our liturgy.

Not a full list, of course.  Any one of those changes would cost us time, money, attention, compassion and at least a little inconvenience.

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Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Here’s the thing: after we have seen the Risen Christ, we are asked to change.  Otherwise, we are just singing the Same Song on a Different Day.

In favor of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

This letter was mailed today, Ash Wednesday, to Congressman Langevin (D-RI). The article describing his work appeared in the NYT on February 7, 2013. Here’s the link: http://nyti.ms/XoQJP6 

February 13, 2013

The Honorable Mr. James Langevin

United States House of Representatives

109 Cannon HOB

Washington, D,C, 20515

Dear Mr. Langevin,

I am writing to thank you for your work in arraigning for the presence of gun-violence victims in the gallery during the President’s State of the Union address last night. I read about your efforts in the New York Times last week.

I support Senator Feinstein’s bill, the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” banning semi-automatic weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.  This legislation is described as “doomed to defeat.” Perhaps it was in the days before Sandy Hook, but I believe we must be changed by that tragedy.  As President Obama said in Newtown, “We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”

Today, on Ash Wednesday, my religious community turns toward the season of Lent during which we reflect on the need for change in ourselves and in our world.  I believe that the kind of change needed to enact Senator Feinstein’s bill is possible. I will begin Lent looking for the ways in which I can encourage that change, and I thank you for all you have already done in that regard.

Very truly yours,

Lily DeYoung