A Holy Time Is Upon Us * Open Thread*

by

Friday, April 3rd, brings us the convergence of holy events in two of the world’s great religions: Judaism and Christianity.

And really, it couldn’t come at a better time, if you ask me. Hopefully, we can take a step back from all of the vitriol and animosity over ginned up hypotheticals over Religious protection laws. The outcry has now resulted in Indiana essentially changing the entire point of the law in the first place to appease the Gay Mafia and “Tolerant Left” lest they go even more ballistic and threatening. Because that is how we roll these days, apparently. Bludgeon people until they submit. Because that appears to be the New American Way.

Then there is the much ballyhooed the faux deal with Iran in which Iran got the better end of that stick, as we all suspected – we got a promise. They got the sanctions lifted. Heck, Iran is already out there claiming that we are lying about the new deal (not written down and only preliminary but that didn’t stop Obama from having his Rose Garden statement). THAT didn’t take long, did it?

Needless to say, Israel is not thrilled with this deal. From United With Israel:

In a phone call with President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that “a deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Just two days ago, Iran said that the destruction of Israel is ‘non-negotiable,’ and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel.”

Netanyahu concluded that “This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.”

At a joint press conference with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that we had accomplished “significant work” and that Iran will “continue enriching.” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Oh, yes – so “significant” that the Iranians were literally partying in the streets at what they managed to get from the Great Satan. Heckuva job there, Kerry and Obama. Heckuva job.

Speaking of terrorism, Thursday saw a lot of it. Sadly, Christian students were slaughtered at a Kenyan university, 147 dead and 69 injured. They were targeted at a time when the Muslim students were at mosque. The terrorists asked people if they were Christians, and even had snipers to pick off the Christians who tried to escape. How horrifying, especially on Maundy Thursday, as the holiest season begins for Christians. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the fallen, and for Christians around the world who are facing unprecedented persecution at this time.

But that wasn’t the only terrorism in the news. Turns out two women in New York City were planning on launching an attack in the name of Allah and ISIS. Thank GOD that plot was foiled, but it is absolutely chilling that people in our country are willing to go to that place.

These holy of holy days could not come at a better time to take a step back, and focus on what gives us strength, whether we are religious or not.

For Jews, sundown marks the beginning of Passover, which lasts until sundown on Saturday, April 11th. It is an important time in Judaism, as the JPost states beautifully in its (timely) depiction of the relationship to God being a marriage:

This evening we will climb the spiral staircase of Jewish history once again to begin our celebration of Passover, the Days of Wine and Matzot.

We were totally, passionately devoted to the Almighty, with an intensity unique to the courting period. We were willing to follow God our groom anywhere, even into an unknown, hostile desert – just as a young kalla (bride) follows her hatan (groom) into a new life.

[…]

And so, this love affair with God began on Passover. Hand in hand, we embarked together as faithful partners on this magnificent adventure of Judaism, searching for glory down uncharted paths, our only tools the love and trust we had in each other, following a treasure map we call the Torah.

Passover is about love, in all its many dimensions. First and foremost, the love we share with our Creator. Our love for God is exemplified by the matza – the central commandment of this holiday – while His love for us is echoed throughout the Haggada, such as in the recitation of “Dayenu,” a long list of miracles and kindnesses which He performed for us from the moment we were liberated from Egypt until we entered Israel and built the Temple in Jerusalem, and all the centuries beyond.

[…]

For us, the saga of the Egyptian experience – which we constantly evoke: in the Ten Commandments, whenever we recite kiddush and throughout our daily prayers – trumps even creation. For while creation is a universal phenomenon, the Egyptian liberation focuses on us alone, as God intervened in the state of human affairs to free us from bondage and forge us into a nation. […] ( Click here to read the rest.)

What a beautiful description of this most meaningful, and important, holiday in Judaism.

Of course, the concept of marriage to God is not a new one for those who chose a life as nuns or monks since that is precisely what they do. It is a profound concept, though, to consider and to strive for that kind of deeply intimate, intense, and loving relationship with the Creator. How different would our lives be, how different would this week have been, had more people had that sort of communion with their Higher Power? I dare say we would not have seen the level of downright hatred as evidenced against religious people in our country, or toward people of faith around the world, most notably by radical Islamists as they slaughter Christians and Muslims who do not submit to their way of believing. How differently might we treat one another if we walked in that kind of harmony and love with the Higher Power to whom we were committed?

Speaking of commitment, of course Friday, April 3rd, is also Good Friday. It is the day Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus, the ultimate commitment. It is a time when Christians reflect on the tremendous gift given them by the sacrifice of one for all. Good Friday is when many Christians reflect upon the final sayings by Jesus, including his last statement before his death, “Into thy hands, I commit my spirit.”

That is the ultimate commitment, a sacrifice like none other, the result of which is the Resurrection that comes on Sunday. But I am getting ahead of myself. For now, for this day, it is a day of prayerful reflection and introspection, a respite from the violence rocking our country and our world, a time of meditation on this most precious of gifts given up by the one for the many…

And this is an Open Thread. Feel free to discuss any of the issues raised above, or whatever else is on your minds today.

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41 Responses to “A Holy Time Is Upon Us * Open Thread*”

  1. foxyladi14 Says:

    Amen and thank you Amy. ❤

  2. foxyladi14 Says:

    Good 😀

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/04/nearly-150000-raised-for-christian-pizzeria-after-threats-force-owners-into-hiding/

  3. foxyladi14 Says:

    So is this. 🙂

  4. foxyladi14 Says:

  5. foxyladi14 Says:

    No protests here. 🙄

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      This was fantastic, and really highlights the extreme hypocrisy of the Left when it comes to Islam vs. Christianity.

      Thank you!

  6. HELENK3 Says:

    WAKE UP EARLY TOMORROW AM

    http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2015-april-4

    blood moon eclipse

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    This Culture War We’re In

    All wars are culture wars. To win you must destroy the values of the other side. (That is one reason why we’re losing to Islam no matter how many times we beat them on the battlefield.) You must destroy their sense of purpose and the values instilled in them to break them as an organization.

    That is what the left has been doing to us.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/dgreenfield/this-culture-war-were-in/

    An interesting article by Daniel Greenfield that I find both thought provoking and frightening.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Wow, what a great point. Just SMH – hard to believe what has happened to our country in such a relatively short time…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        We used to tease my grandfather about the changes that had come about in his lifetime – from horse and buggy days to television in his living room. He said most came about so slow that it seemed natural and that only when he reflected on it did things seem at all strange.

        For many in my generation – just pre-boomer, it is the same.

        Most of us now carry around a device that was once, a relatively short time ago, something found only in Dick Tracy cartoons. His was as wrist watch, mine is a cell phone but the wrist watches are all ready here.

        So sad that amongst all the wonders there are the fools, dipshits, and people of small intellect who want to rule the world and haven’t the faintest idea what the hell they are doing. They are like children who want what they want and damn the consequences. Our POTUS and SoS fit that description very well IMO.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          It is pretty wild to think of where we are now technologically speaking. Though I did see a funny cartoon abt someone going on abt their wrist cell phone and how you can look at it to tell time. The response was that that’s what WATCHES do. 🙂

          Anyway, unfortunately, our sensibilities and communications with each OTHER have gone way downhill as the technology “progresses.” People have their faces buried in the cell phones most of the time now instead of interacting with each other. You can’t even go out with someone without them checking their phones constantly.

          Which I guess is another way of saying what you said so well! Ahahaha…

  8. foxyladi14 Says:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Sigh, sadly too true…

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Let us not forget SoS Kerry in this mess Foxy…

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Foxy, before I forget once again to ask, how is the rehab coming on your knee? Haven’t heard, or I missed it while mired in my own medical problems. So let me know please.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        I’ve been wondering that, too, Foxy!

        And Marge, how is YOUR recovery coming along?

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          I am doing very well Amy. I hit a few bad spots for a while but just the last two weeks things are finally going really well. Well enough that the surgeon released me and says not to “bother” him, said with a smile, unless I have a problem.

          The cardiologist doesn’t need to see me again until mid-May which tells me I am doing very well.

          So I am feeling very good and get more of my life back every day.

          I am also so grateful for all the thoughts and prayers sent my way and believe that they are what helped me with my recovery. Amazing how “positive” works and surprising to someone, that would be me, who so often concentrates on the negative.

          (Full credit to wonderful surgeon Dr. Christopher Stone and cardiologist Dr. Fullin but without God’s help I don’t believe I would be here to praise them.)

          I am so happy that my relationship with God is once again what it used to be.

          The Bush administration and many of the Evangelicals that shoved religion down our throats disgusted me as much as the Socialists in the Obama Administration and their supporters. I don’t think very well when I’m having something thrust upon me and tend to over-react.

          I also held a grudge against God for taking my mother and brother away when I was young and needed them so much. It has made me stronger but there were a lot of “lost” years because of my reaction and anger.

          Now I accept it as all part of a larger plan. Perhaps that was the intent all along. Whatever the reason, and especially in this Holy season, this black sheep has returned to the fold and is very happy to be there.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            What good news, Marge! I am so glad your doctor has released you! That says a lot abt the work you have been doing, so good on you!

            And I am very thankful you had such a good surgeon. What a blessing!

            I totally appreciate that abt your relationship with God. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain of having your mother and brother taken from you too soon, but I can imagine how devastating that would be, as well as what an impact it would have. No doubt, it made you strong, but I can imagine the hole it would leave in your heart…

            I understand lashing out at God for your anger and hurt over that. It is something I think many of us struggle with, including me. I left the Episcopal Church over their refusal to ordain gays/lesbians, unless one lied abt it during the ordination process. I could not see doing that, lying abt who I am, to be in the priesthood. There is something fundamentally wrong abt that, I think – unethical and immoral. Instead of being able to see at that time it was the policies of people, not of God, I slammed shut that door out of pain and betrayal. Leaving behind the Church was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, yet it does not compare to the loss you suffered.

            All that is to say, I understand the retreat from God, and the return. Like you, I dig in my heels if someone tries to push me to do something (just a tad bit stubborn!), so I totally get it.

            All that said, and in no way intended to detract from your comment but compliment it, I am glad that you have found your way back. I am sure that brings you strength and comfort in these trying times – at least I hope it does.

            Thanks so much for the update – I am delighted to hear you are doing so well!

            • kenoshamarge Says:

              And I am glad you found yours. Our problem was never with God but with those who use him to their own purposes. Glad we finally saw that.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Marge, thank you – and no, it wasn’t with God, or Jesus, and while I never turned my back on spirituality or believing in a divine presence, I am now at a place where I can fully appreciate the rituals, music, and beauty of the Church again.
          🙂

  9. Nunly Says:

    Blessings to you, Rev. Amy!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      And the same to you, Nunly dear! So good to *see* you!

      I have been thinking of you, especially during Holy Week. Here is a Good Friday piece for everyone here:

  10. Nunly Says:

    Oh my, you just put one of my favorite hymns up. I get goose bumps every time I hear it sung. Beautiful! Thanks!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I am so glad! And truly my pleasure. It is a powerful piece, isn’t it?

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Btw, I never attended that church while I was in seminary. When I could go (as in, no doing an internship), I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine:

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    just saying…

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, boy. That is some logic there, huh? Sigh.

      So much for that “brilliant” trait too often ascribed to him.

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    Interesting. I saw that Carville segment and even Mika wasn’t buying his b.s. (If a Democrat can’t sell b.s. to Mike they are in deep excrement.)

    Scarborough: Hillary Has a “Glass Jaw,” “I Don’t Think She’s Going To Be Next President Of The United States” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IMJThmyqBwQ

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I couldn’t believe the crap that was coming out of his mouth, either. They really must think we are stupid. Now, admittedly, too many have demonstrated that they are, but still, this was a bridge too far…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        The way Carville just kept talking and repeating the same thing was disgusting. Did he think for one minute that would benefit his cause? It was really disturbing and much as I do not like him I was embarrassed for him.

  13. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Good question from Attkisson abt why Media Matters, a non-profit that is CLEARLY political, not getting some deserved IRS attention: http://sharylattkisson.com/media-matters-for-the-left-david-brocks-mission-to-boost-hillary-clinton-and-smear-non-leftist-sources-of-news/

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Any pretense that Media Matters is neutral or non-political is preposterous. Just one more lie from the left and one more bit of bias from the media.

      Isn’t it amazing that the IRS has the time and energy to go after Tea Party groups, some, many, small and relatively unknown, yet finds no fault in the obvious political motivation of a POS like Brock and Media Matters. Just one more bit of evidence of the corruption of the IRS.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Ain’t that the damn truth. I was STUNNED when I found out it was considered a non-profit, and I used to get notices from them! I knew very well that they were far left liberal, and operated from that very place. So, yeah – what a crock when hundreds of tea-party groups that WEREN’T as political have been treated so disparately…

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