Moment of Clarity With Rev. Lorrie Daly-Price
Tender Compassion

Tender Compassion

April 26, 2021

A mother was once asked by a census taker how many children she had. She replied, “Well  there’s Nathan, Daniel and Elisha and…” Never mind the names,’ the man interrupted, “Just give me the numbers.” The mother angrily replied, “They don’t have numbers, they all have names!” 

 

This might be a funny story, but don’t you find that there is some truth to it in our modern world. We are often reduced to statistics and numbers, especially by the government. Here in Canada, our governments know us by our Social Insurance Numbers, and that identity is included in almost all of our lifetime records and transactions. Even our opinions are reflected in numbers in survey results, as is seen by the surveys conducted during a federal election campaign. 

 

Thankfully, as we hear this morning in our gospel reading from John, Jesus is not like that. He knows each and every one of us by our names, just like a shepherd knows each and everyone of his sheep. After all, he is the Good Shepherd.

Presence Matters

Presence Matters

April 26, 2021

This week we hear about Cleopas and Simon who are heading to Emmaus from the gospel of Luke. Jesus walks along with them, his identity unbeknownst to them. At first the two fail to recognize him, even as Jesus interprets the scriptures for them. 

 

We then move with Cleopas and his companion where they have just begun telling the eleven disciples about their encounter with Jesus on the road. The text tells us that “While they were talking about this,” Jesus himself appeared among them.” Yet despite having heard the women’s story of the tomb and Cleopas’ story of the road to Emmaus, the eleven cannot grasp that it is the resurrected Jesus who stands before them. Terrified, they think they are seeing a ghost. They cannot believe that the power of life has overcome the dark shadow of death.  

 

Curiously, Jesus does not begin by explaining the scriptures to them, as he had done with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and as the angels had done with the women at the tomb. Instead, he begins by showing them his hands and feet. Yet, as we will hear, they still struggle to believe that this could actually be their beloved Jesus. 

Peace Be With You

Peace Be With You

April 14, 2021

Shalom aleichem. The days following Jesus persecution, death and resurrection were tumultuous. Jesus’ friends and devout followers must have been devastated and grieving. In our Gospel reading this week from John 20:19-31, we hear of the disciples locked in a room because they were afraid of the Temple authorities—so the local troubles continue. Suddenly appearing before them is Jesus in the room, and saying, “Peace be with you.” But Thomas doubts that Jesus has risen from the dead, because he was not with the disciples when Jesus first appeared. Jesus appears to the disciples again, and Thomas is present and now believes because he can see, and feel the wounds in Jesus’ hand, feet and side. These twelve short verses talk about doubt and faith, peace and blessings of shalom, as well as the gift of the Holy Spirit—a wondrous gift given to us, even to this day.  

Easter Joy

Easter Joy

April 5, 2021

Jesus Christ is risen today! The tomb where he lay is empty. On that first Easter morning Mary comes to the tomb while it is still dark. She sees that the stone has been rolled away and she draws the conclusion that Jesus has been taken. Running to Peter and that beloved disciple, she shares her concern. 

 

Upon her return to the tomb Jesus appears to Mary as a gardener and will later appear to the disciples. She does not yet believe who she is standing with. 

 

Things go no more smoothly for the others either. The risen Christ appearance is no simple thing. As we will hear this morning, the gospel story judges none of these people. For in their own time each will come to faith and believe in the risen Christ.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

April 5, 2021

Palm Sunday Jesus resolves to ride into Jerusalem and expose himself publicly, even though he realizes the dangers he will face since the Jewish leaders have been clamouring for his arrest. From the Roman Governor’s view, this was a dangerous time to keep peace and order with the impending Jewish Passover festival and the last thing the Roman authorities wanted was a riot  stirred by religious intolerance. So when Jesus enters Jerusalem the atmosphere is tense. 

 

As Jesus set out from the Mount of Olives for the final descent into the holy city many people had gathered on the roadside to welcome him. Many of these had no doubt witnessed his healing, and listened to his preaching, but some perhaps were there to have a  glimpse of this man who had been causing a stir by his radical teaching. As crowds go this would not have been much different from any other crowd then and ever since. The majority found themselves going along with the general consensus, which was to acknowledge joyfully Jesus as king. Yet we know, that within five days this consensus would drastically change. 

 

On this wonderful day of waving palm branches and processing into Jerusalem it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and get carried along by the moving parade. Our test however, comes the next day. Are we prepared to stay with Jesus as the atmosphere changes? Do we dare to stand as he faces constant conflict? Are we there for all the encounters that he will face this week? 

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