I have seen the Lord!

I can’t believe I am back on my neglected blog, writing anything other than sermons and services on Holy Week! Holy Week for pastors spells s-w-a-m-p-e-d and it has certainly lived up to that this 2019 year. But as I set an intention on gratitude today in a last-ditch effort to deflect some of the anxiety about Easter’s logistics (and also as I sermon write for Easter Sunday), I found myself stepping back 10 years into time.

As I read John’s Gospel story, I am captivated by Mary. How she came to weep over Jesus’ death at his tomb and how she was the first one to see the Resurrected Jesus. She needed Jesus to say her name so that she would know who he was; that means she knew him, she knew his voice, she knew how he said her name. She was commissioned by Jesus to go and tell. And gee, did she ever! We have the Gospel story because of her. She went and said, “I have seen the Lord!”

“I have seen the Lord.”

“I have seen the Lord.”

What an honor to be the first human commissioned with the Gospel.

As I am reflecting on this for Holy Week, the gratitude that captured me was gratitude for all of the women in my life who have shouted “I have seen the Lord!” over and over and over until I believed that this Good News was for me too. They have been witnesses of this Love that was made flesh in the form of Jesus.

From my mom, to my grandmothers and aunts, in my raising who introduced me to God’s love. To writers like Anne Lamott and most especially Rachel Held Evans who kept saying, I think the Gospel is more expansive and inclusive than we think it is. To my pastors who said this is what “I have seen the Lord!” looks like for a woman in ministry. To my Divinity School professors who taught me that being commissioned with the good news means that “you cannot be a poster child of the status quo.”1 To so many women who have changed me because they have taught me the unforced rhythms of grace when I was so burnt out with the Church. To the women who have loved me deeply and said, “remember who you are; you are named beloved and you are a woman made in the image of God.”

For me, it will always be a woman who says on Easter’s Sunday:

“I have seen the Lord.”

Notes:

  1. Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes

2013 Blog Roadmap

I went for a run today with the distinct intention of dwelling on what is to come on the blog this year. I was interrupted twice by fellow neighbors who wanted to discuss the weather, narrowly avoided a charging dog, and then, culminating my run in typical Kate style, I stepped in fresh turkey poop on my way back through my yard. So instead of the blog, I thought about how to avoid the neighbors, angry dogs, and bird crap; it was a good try though anyway.

2012 was a lot of fun here on the blog! I’d like to thank everyone who read, commented, private messaged, tweeted, called, or connected through any other form of communication.

I learned a great deal from you all and pray that we’ll continue to learn from each other as 2013 unfolds!

Because I’m a hopeless planner, I wanted to throw out some ideas of where I’d like this blog to go and what kind of platform I’d like to create in 2013. I need your suggestions too though because this is a community and your opinion matters! What would you like to talk about or see more of?

Here’s a few things I was thinking:

1) A culmination of the Our Emptying Church blog series. More interviews, guest posts, church history, Millennial characteristics, discussions about David Kinnaman’s research to come. I’ll summarize the highlights of the series and hopefully offer a few conclusions we’ve arrived at.

2) More guest posts, interviews, and entertaining stories.

3) Responses to recent legislation and publications, with particular interest going to:

-the intersection of science and the church
-complementarianism v. egalitarianism (gender roles)
-women’s leadership in the church
-matters involving injustice, inequality, and discrimination

4) During Lent, I will be starting a series discussing human trafficking on a statewide, countrywide and worldwide level.

5) Stories about life’s funny, difficult, joyous, and grievous moments. I know that I have a year of many transitions ahead, ones that will require wisdom, vulnerability, and courage; so I hope to write about some of those moments.

6) Reviews of books I am reading and want to recommend.

I am planning on trying to post weekly this year, but have several other writing obligations as well, so “try” is a key word here. I’m personally looking forward to the warmer weather and new life that 2013 will bring soon– I look forward to our journey together in 2013. May we have traveling mercies along the way.

What am I leaving out that you would like to see on the blog? What are some topics that you’d like to discuss here?