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There are a number of minor characters who appear in the Passion narratives in all four gospels. They seldom get much attention. So this Lent I want to try to see these invisible people of the Passion and imagine events through their eyes.

When Jesus had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck him on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ (John 18:22)

They had brought him in during the night. He was a trouble maker. Everyone had been discussing this crazy preacher from Nazareth. He seemed like the kind of person who actually wanted to get himself killed. The things he was saying, and the things he was letting other people say about him could only bring trouble for everyone.
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Yesterday’s address at St. John’s Noon Forum in “The Future of the Church” series, was delivered by Wendy Fletcher. The title of her talk was “From Mainline to Sideline to Heartline – something new in something old”.
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There are a number of minor characters who appear in the Passion narratives in all four gospels. They seldom get much attention. So this Lent I want to try to see these invisible people of the Passion and imagine events through their eyes.

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. (Mark 14:51,52)

I am one of the least talked about figures in the tradition. When the stories about Jesus are told late into the night, my part is often left out. It is almost as if they are embarrassed by my appearance.
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Lent offers a good opportunity to look at our life choices and examine the impact those choices have on the world around us. Most people I know are particularly concerned with the devastating impact their choices have on the environment we share with all other life forms on this planet.

But, few of us are willing to look seriously at the devastating impact our dietary choices may be having on creation. Food seems to be a topic we are reluctant to talk about.
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There are a number of minor characters who appear in the Passion narratives in all four gospels. They seldom get much attention. So this Lent I want to try to see these invisible people of the Passion and imagine events through their eyes.

Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ and he touche his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:50,51)

My name is Malchus. I am the slave of the high priest Caiaphas, one of the most powerful Jews in Jerusalem. I watch out for things that affect my master’s business. I go places he cannot go. I pay attention to the things my master is not able to see.
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Away from the glare of the TV cameras and the hostile stare of an antagonistic interviewer, Rob Bell has written the answer to his critics, he may wish he had been better able to explain on MSNBC when he was being grilled by Martin Bashir.

Rob Bell’s response to his critics can be read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-bell/rob-bell_b_840353.html

The part of Bell’s response that is most helpful comes from a woman he quotes who, after reading his book emailed Bell with her response.
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The English word “courage” comes form the Latin root cor which means “heart.”
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Cynthia Bourgeault was on Pender Island, BC leading a retreat centered around Mary Magdelene and the Passion for five days from March 18-22. I was not able to be present at the retreat, but had an excellent note taker on site.
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In the face of the tragedy of Japan Brian McLaren has offered a beautiful response to John Piper’s sovereign God who inflicts disaster upon the earth for God’s own good purpose.
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There are a number of minor characters who appear in the Passion narratives in all four gospels. They seldom get much attention. So this Lent I want to try to see these invisible people of the Passion and imagine events through their eyes.

Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, “The Teacher asks Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ (Mark 14:13,14)

It was one of those strange events. We have all had them. Time seems to stand still. We feel as if we are caught in a drama larger than we can begin to comprehend. On one level none of it makes any sense. But in a deeper dimension, there seems to be a flow that is unfolding with a logic all its own.
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