Mark 14: 1-16
Mark 14: 17-21
Mark 15: 1-5; 16-39
Palm Sunday/Cantata Sunday
This week is Holy Week, and the close of our Lenten series, “A World Worth Saving.” You can learn more about opportunities to join us in Holy Week at Broad St. UMC here.
Dear Broad Street Family,
As Lent begins to wind down and Holy Week approaches, I find myself feeling reflective and in need of some stillness. Lent invites us into that kind of examination and, while not always an easy experience, I find it good and right during this holy time.
I’ve had opportunity to read Mitch Albom’s book (author of Tuesday’s with Morrie), Have a Little Faith. This is the story of two very important yet very different men in his life, both of whom influenced his faith.
One of these individuals is the rabbi of Mitch’s youth. Rabbi Albert Lewis had called to ask if Mitch would perform his eulogy. Needless to say, that’s a profound request and one that set Mitch on several years of visits to the “Reb’s” home to really get to know the man. It is the content of one of those visits that I wish to share with you now.
Rabbi Lewis ended his formal ministry with a very public apology. He served one temple his whole life, and now it was time to retire. Rather than reflect on his accomplishments, he instead asked this flock to forgive him. “He apologized for not being able to save more marriages, for not visiting the homebound more frequently, for not easing more pain of parents who had lost a child, for not having money to help the widows or families in economic ruin. He apologized to teenagers with whom he didn’t spend enough teaching time. He even apologized for the sin of not studying every day, as illness and commitments had stolen precious hours.” Officially, that was his final, “big” sermon.
Reb encourages Mitch not to wait, not to let anger stew, or carry grudges. During this conversation, Reb tells him the story of a man who had lost his wife. At the gravesite, with tears falling down his face, he told the rabbi that he had loved her—really loved her. Then the man broke down and said, “And….I almost told her once.” Reb said, “Nothing haunts like the things we don’t say.”
Mitch asks the rabbi to forgive him for anything he might have done or said that hurt him. Smiling, Reb replies, “While I can’t think of anything, consider all such matters addressed.”
Then there is a punch line I’ll never forget. Rabbi Lewis shares that “the sages tell us to repent exactly one day before we die.” Mitch counters by asking, “But how do you know it’s the day before you die?” Reb raises his eyebrows, a glint in his eye: “Exactly.
Lent has never made more sense to me. For all the things I may have done or not done, that have hurt you, please forgive me.
Blessings, Pastor Lou