Is The Indiana Law About Discrimination?

Is The Indiana Law About Discrimination?

Before heading to Palm Sunday service this past Sunday, I was listening to George Stephanopoulos interview the Governor of Indiana on “This Week” on ABC. Their discussion was centered on the heated reaction to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  A pin-the-tail-on-the-governor game was underway. The goal of the game was to affix to the State of Indiana the culturally detestable label “DISCRIMINATION.” Of all the sins out there, this seems to be the unpardonable one.

So let’s look it up in the online dictionary.

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A Bloody Weekend Awaits Us

A Bloody Weekend Awaits Us

The beheading of Egyptian Christians is still bothering me. And the idea that their drained blood flows in a river toward those who are next is even more troubling.

I find myself on this weekend as I anticipate the events of the Holy Week to come, trying to place the bloody beheading tactics of radical Muslims alongside the crucifixion tactics of the early Romans. Both sent a message – we are in charge and you must submit to our ways, or pay a price. Both made it public – one by virtue of crosses lining well-traveled roads, the other by use of media. Both extracted blood – from necks and backs and heads and sides.

And neither has made the world new. Only more fearful, more angry, more sad.

As you experience the Maundy Thursday betrayal, the Good Friday crucifixion, the quiet Saturday Sabbath in the tomb, and the glorious Easter Sunday celebration, pause to ask a simple question – whose use of power makes the world new?

Maundy Thursday: Biting the Hand That Feeds You

Maundy Thursday: Biting the Hand That Feeds You

We say it several ways:

  • “No good deed goes unpunished.”
  • “Those with capacity to hurt you deepest are those who are closest to you.”
  • “Biting the hand that feeds you.”

It’s about the pain of betrayal. And lest we think our God is without experience here, Jesus broke bread with Judas on the fateful Maundy Thursday. The same man who dipped bread with Jesus walked out of the room to betray his feeder.

I often talk with people who have experienced the pain of betrayal in a way that drove them from their faith. Why God seems distant when we are betrayed may have something to do with our desire for a God more swift to judge and execute justice. That certainly is how the Psalmists of the Lament Prayers felt—and may be what was behind Jesus’ prayer from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Read Psalm 22 for the true depth of all that was being prayed by the crucified Jesus. It is a Psalm about being betrayed by enemies and needing help.

Yes, we will be betrayed in painful ways. People very close to us will hurt us. Some of us will even be the betrayers—biting the very hand that feds us.

Maundy Thursday may be saying that when betrayal happens, Jesus is very near.

Photo Credit: atimetoremember7 via Compfight cc