Saturday, August 27, 2011
Living here in Allentown
And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. Mark 14:43-52
It took nearly five hours to arrive in Allentown yesterday. We were told to evacuate by 8AM Friday morning, and although it took us a while to get us all out of the house, and everything secure, I felt good about the fact that we were going and everything was buttoned up as best we could. I had told people we were going to Allentown and everybody kept singing the lyrics from Billy Joel. Well, Allentown may be all that he sings about, but to us it is so much more. My daughter Ariel, her husband Adam and our granddaughter Lilly live here. So it is more than just a way station, an evacuation point or somewhere to fell from (or to). It is where our hearts are also.
Jesus is arrested in the garden. Security was high, violence was expected, everyone official was there to arrest a man of peace. They were on a high state of alert although Jesus posed no threat to them. And when the cops arrived the disciples fled, When the storm came, they took off - it is the natural response in these times. Jesus understood their anxiety and understands our in life's storms and in times of extreme poverty, violence and fear. The good news in our gospel is that our human responses to the challenges we face, are met with God's continuing compassion and love. God's heart is open wide in our time of extreme anxiety and fear.
Today, as the storm approaches, I ask God to bless all in her path, and to comfort all who are beside themselves with fear and anxiety. May we all rest in the loving arms of a loving God who is holding us ever closer as the winds and waves rush in.