I don’t like to be told what to do, particularly when I don’t understand the command. I like to know why I’m doing something, I like to have as much insight as I can; I like to see the big picture. This is why I feel terrible for Phillip in this passage. 

The lectionary reading for this week shows us Jesus in Jerusalem after an unknown festival. He arrives at a pool called Bethzatha, where invalids lay. Now, in the time of Jesus, illness was often blamed on sin, either that person had sinned, or their parents.

Every time I sit down to write one of these reflections, it goes one of two ways. It is either a joy that takes me completely outside of my every day, or it is torture. When it feels like torture, when I have nothing wise (which is most of the time), I stitch together thoughts that I have, and thoughts that others have had, and pray that God will make it more than the sum of its parts for at least one other person. 

One of my professors, Dr. David Downs, noted how quickly we celebrate the crucifixion as the center for Christ’s saving work, while talking about resurrection as an appendage to the Christ event. So perhaps the question I want to pose is what role the resurrection plays in our theology.

This passage offers us a great deal of comfort as well as a command. Jesus’ compassion towards Thomas is evident in his showing up a second time to give Thomas the chance to see him. He also assures us that if we forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.

I have to be honest, I had no idea what Palm Sunday was before starting this blog. I knew it was something that the church celebrated every year, was part of the lead up to Easter and I had a vague idea it should have something to do with palm leaves.

For the year after I finished college, I worked in a florist. One of my jobs there was to take orders over the phone. Mostly I talked to men one or two days before (or on the morning of ) birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day. My favourite part was when I got to ask them what they wanted to write on the card.

TECHNOLOGY has almost killed the art of getting lost. Almost all of us have a map of the whole world in minute detail sitting in our pocket. Our phones set our path to home and this passage is all about home, journeys away and how we find our way back.

IF JESUS’ parables were songs, I don’t think that the parable of the barren fig tree would have made it in onto his ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation. Its tone and trajectory often make people uncomfortable. Reading it through Western eyes in the twenty-first century, in particular, makes it ripe for misinterpretation.

As disciples, though we often ask like Peter to commemorate the mountaintop experiences, we must follow the instruction of our Savior. That does not mean that we necessarily follow the exact events and moments of his life. It does mean we follow the paradigm and life that culminates in the cross.

In order to go a little deeper into the meaning of a text, a contemplative reading practice is often helpful. By placing ourselves in the text, we can pick up on subtleties and read between the lines. In imagining ourselves as Simon, we have the opportunity to think about what Simon was feeling, what was going on in his head as he listened to Jesus.

As disciples, though we often ask like Peter to commemorate the mountaintop experiences, we must follow the instruction of our Savior. That does not mean that we necessarily follow the exact events and moments of his life. It does mean we follow the paradigm and life that culminates in the cross.

As a chaplain. one of my favourite parts of my role is being part of our university community’s conversations about religion and faith in the modern world. Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of debating topics like the existence of God, how we approach love and sex, whether or not religion breeds extremism and many more.

For those of you who read one of past blog posts where I collaborated with some of my pupils, you may be glad to hear that I called on my 5th years to help me reflect on the gospel reading again this week… We kept coming back to the problematic picture of justice Jesus paints in this speech.

In order to go a little deeper into the meaning of a text, a contemplative reading practice is often helpful. By placing ourselves in the text, we can pick up on subtleties and read between the lines. In imagining ourselves as Simon, we have the opportunity to think about what Simon was feeling, what was going on in his head as he listened to Jesus.

In today’s age, it's difficult to cut through the noise and sometimes understand the significance of proclamations and announcements. We find the speed to keep up with our world too much, and, in parallel, delivering less and less complexity. I say this to preface the need for Christians, especially in the West, to read their Holy Text with a great deal more patience.