“Do we wish to bring forth a world of scarcity, fear, competition, war, or will we choose to vivify the seeds of abundance, confidence, generosity, and peace in our hearts and in our communities? It is our choice.”
“The Peacekeeper sees all in good relationship, perceiving the underlying unity of all creation.”
Yesterday Eliot and I went on a date.
I took him to Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party- and yes, it’s just as fabulous as it sounds.
We drank vanilla almond tea from a glass teapot and ate chocolate chip scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
And even there I thought about the last supper, the meal around the table where Jesus asked his close friends to choose a better way, a way of compassion and generosity and peace.
And Eli and I were trying to give ourselves that sort of holy space at the table too– as a mother and son, adult and toddler — inside ourselves we were making an oath to live a better way together.
So those people in that room made their pledge that night over bread and wine and I’m sure an olive or two.
But what happened the next morning, when the dailyness of their lives came back again and they walked back into a culture of competition and war? Did they forget those words shared around the table, the sacredness of saying yes to a man who told them he was going to die and come back again?
I shared that sacred space with my oldest son, pledging to become something better for him and for myself.
But this morning I have already banged my head on the refrigerator door and stubbed my toe and told my boys, “Just give me a second,” a few times too many.
I’m already tired and I’m already forgetting that yesterday I made a choice to lean toward peace and compassion, and today, if I’m not careful, I’ll lean the other direction.
We know that those men in that room didn’t all keep their oaths, didn’t choose the way of peace, didn’t follow Jesus to the cross and wait by his side.
And today, when we forget what we’ve promised and neglect the way of peace, Lent steps in, right before Easter comes, to remind us.
We are tethered to peace, tethered to compassion, tethered to the great mystery of God that holds all things to all other things in balance.
So we choose to spend these next few days of Lenten reflection asking how we can possibly keep this oath, how we can start again when the morning has overwhelmed us or the work day is dragging on our we are bored with ourselves or too afraid to be more than we think we’re worthy of.
We choose the way of peace for the next few days, the way of mourning death and of hoping for the Kingdom of all compassion and all generosity to overtake our hearts again and remind us who we are and what we are capable of.
We remind ourselves that this is an oath worth keeping.