The tempo of life seems to pick up in March. I spent last Saturday at a board meeting for Ashram. I gave up my seemingly easy, one day job, that thoroughly exhausted me last year. I agreed to take on another, less physical one. It seemed to be about just sorting people into prayer groups. That didn’t sound too hard. Of course, then we began discussing problems that have cropped up. I’m afraid now they are expecting me to somehow work miracles! But I admitted this will have to be a matter of God equipping the called, instead of the reverse.
Then we had the time change, which is not my favorite thing. It is really hard to get up in the dark, more than an hour before sunrise. But then I am crossing off the days to the end of this punishing schedule. Of course that was happening before the time change. It seems like the time change forces us to look ahead toward summer though. Maybe that’s just because it happened so much later when I was a kid. We all grumble and complain because it really does not save energy, and it increases stress while adjusting, leading to more heart attacks and then there are all the crazy driving mistakes. I had a lady turn right in front of me just as the walk sign came up this morning. I should have blasted her with my whistle, since she didn’t even seem to notice that she did anything wrong. But thank God, I kind of expected it, so hadn’t stepped in front of her! I wonder if walking on the new time helps one to adjust faster than running around in cars? At any rate, I will be happy when things get back to a more normal level of traffic chaos.
In Sunday school, we were discussing the verses from John leading up to and including where Jesus says “behold your son… behold your mother.” I hadn’t read the lesson, so had no preconceived idea of what we would talk about. That was okay, since we simply went with the verses and took off on various tangents. First we were talking about how the men, except for John were all in hiding by then. It was understandable that they were concerned that they also might have been targeted. Our elder statesman said it was just how men are, taking off when things get hot. But no one wanted to get into that and he may have been joking.
Instead we spent some time discussing how many women were in the group around Jesus. It could be three or four, depending on how you read the verses in John. But in other gospels it was less definite. The part about Mary the wife of Clopas was interesting though. Apparently Clopas was the brother of Joseph. That was new to me. The book put it as Clopas being the protector of Mary the mother of Jesus. But apparently our leader for the day found information meaning just the opposite, that Clopas had died first and Joseph had taken in the other Mary. Either way, it must have been confusing having two women with the same first name in the household!
Things got heavy of course, when we tried to think how Mary must have felt, seeing Jesus suffering and knowing she could not help him. He was her son, after all. One point was brought out though, that whatever Mary went through, she was somehow prepared for it, just as she was somehow prepared to accept the message from the angel that she was to have God’s son, conceived out of wedlock. She most likely bore that stigma the rest of her life. The angel, of course, also told her that her heart would be pierced, so that was part of the preparation for her.
We got to the words themselves, marvelling that in the midst of all that, carrying the sins of the world on his shoulders, and suffering terribly, yet Jesus would take the time to see that his mom was taken care of. Legally, I suppose it was His obligation, as eldest son, but in the middle of all that, it is still amazing. Somehow that led to a discussion of how most of the time, we don’t want to be a burden on our kids. And I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but it led to a discussion of how, quite often church people take care of one another, especially in the absence of children who would otherwise be expected to take care of their aging parents. We have a number of examples of this within our church. It is certainly one of the good things about having a supportive community. Oddly enough, what we came up with dovetailed nicely with the book, once I did read it.