Fifth Sunday of Lent

Resurrection: A Lectionary Journey by Michelle L Hofer – acrylic on paper, 8 x 10 inches, 2022

April 3, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8

View Lectionary

The White Stripes have a simple song called Little Acorns that begins with this monologue read by Mort Crim. It came to mind this week.
When problems overwhelm us and sadness smothers us, where do we find the will and the courage to continue?
Well, the answer may come in the caring voice of a friend, a chance encounter with a book or from a personal faith.
For Janet, help came from her faith but it also came from a squirrel.
Shortly after her divorce Janet lost her father. Then she lost her job, she had mounting money problems. But Janet not only survived. She worked her way out of despondency and now she says life is good again.
How could this happen?
She told me that late one autumn day when she was at her lowest, she watched a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter. One at a time he would take them to the nest.
And she thought, “If that squirrel can take care of himself with the harsh winter coming on, so can I.
Once I broke my problems into small pieces, I was able to carry them, just like those acorns, one at a time.

As we first set off on the Lenten journey, it is very much a slow and steady progression, we move a step, a day, a week at a time. But now we have reached a point along the way where in stopping we can both see what is behind us and a bit more clearly what is ahead.

I have chosen this week to simply chalk out what is ahead on this art piece. There is celebration coming, but there is darkness waiting too. I like that the Lenten passages this Sunday are hopeful and anticipatory. But they are not without shadows of the difficulties that must be faced. Jesus talks of the day of his burial, Paul the share in Christ’s sufferings.

Consider the following questions as you ponder the art and Scriptures together…

From the Isaiah passage: What does it mean to no longer consider the things of old?
What assurance are we offered in the Psalm? How does this boost your hope?
What or who keeps you going? Do you find Paul’s words encouraging?
What qualities/characteristics of Mary’s act of anointing do you desire for yourself?

It was as if we were dreaming — Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues were spilling over into song. The word went out across the prairies and deserts, across the hills, over the oceans wide, from nation to nation: “The Eternal has done remarkable things for them.” We shook our heads. All of us were stunned — the Eternal has done remarkable things for us. We were beyond happy, beyond joyful. And now, Eternal One, some are held captive and poor. Release them, and restore our fortunes as the dry riverbeds of the South spring to life when the rains come at last. Those who walk the fields to sow, casting their seed in tears, will one day tread those same long rows, amazed by what’s appeared. Those who weep as they walk and plant with sighs will return singing with joy, when they bring home the harvest. — Psalm 126:1-6

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s