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Theology

Ash and Oil: April 3

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? … With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  (Mark 15: 33,34)

…just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb…as they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here...”  (Mark 16: 2-6)

Ash and Oil: April 1

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth…But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight... No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

Ash and Oil: March 30

“O LORD, who may abide in your tent?

Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,

and speak the truth from their heart…”

(Psalm 15:1-2)

Tomorrow is César Chávez Day. In certain states across the United States, Chavez will be remembered and celebrated as a civil rights leader willing to expose an ugly truth: the oppression of migrant workers.

Ash and Oil: March 27

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: ‘A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.’ As he said this, he called out, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’  (Luke 8:4-8)

Ash and Oil: March 25

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:1)

Ash and Oil: March 23

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Rom. 8:22)

God uses creation to speak to us. He put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant, he pointed Abram to the stars to illustrate his numerous offspring, he called out to Moses from the burning bush. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” he questioned Job.

Ash and Oil: March 20

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

As temperatures slowly inch upwards and the sun lingers longer in the evening, that spring-time drumbeat starts pounding ever louder in my head. After being cooped up for a cold, dark winter I want to take every opportunity to go outside, even if I might be jumping the gun a bit, and I suddenly get the feeling like I need to get my house in order.

Ash and Oil: March 18

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the ones who believes in me drink.  As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:37-38)

Ash and Oil: March 16

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.’” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

Ash and Oil: March 13

Hear this, O Job;

stop and consider the wondrous works of God.

Do you know how God lays his command upon them,

and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?

Do you know the balancings of the clouds,

the wondrous works of the one whose knowledge is perfect…

(Job 37:14-15)

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