March 25th: Path

By Carly Payne 

I tried my best to keep close to person in front, not looking up, not making eye contact with the shop owners or Israe12717874_10154710244063047_3771150424510797130_nli guards as we weaved in and out of the crowds. The narrow streets partnered with the patter of dozens of feet on the weathered pavers echoing on the ancient stone walls made it hard to focus on anything. People on their way to work, to prayer or their homes scurried on by, while I, the white protestant girl from Texas stood out like a sore thumb, wandering through the streets of Jerusalem. The sights and the smells and sounds were overwhelming so that it would have been easy to miss what was carved out in the stone… “ST. VI”

“What is that?”

“Via Dolorosa. The Way of The Cross. This road is said to be the way Jesus walked on his way to be crucified.”

“Jesus walked here?” I thought as we were swept back into the wave of people. Was I supposed to feel something? Should I have somehow magically known I was walking along the same path as God Incarnate? Either way, I had no choice but to keep walking, tucking the moment away for a later time when I could better digest it.

Somewhere along the way gut-wrenching, life changing account of the Passion became merely a story to listen to, evoking just enough sadness and grief so that I would have something to look forward to on Easter Sunday.

I think I missed the point.

I had put the story at arms’ length, keeping it just far away enough so that thinking about this suffering wouldn’t completely rip me apart. And as a result, God became this distant being, far away in Heaven.

Again, I think I missed the point.

We don’t meditate on Christ’s sufferings to expose guilt or remorse in us, we meditate on it in part to remind us that God is not far off and distant, but God is with us, experiencing even the most brutal parts of life with us through Christ. When God decided to send a son to earth to walk among us, it was God demonstrating holy love for us in the best way possible. Through God-made-flesh, we are reminded that we are never alone.

March 8th: Silence

By Aaron Pazan

Silence can be so many things. But this song Finally by Gungor takes my breathe away and makes me appreciate silence even more. Here are the words to Finally:

Call me back into the silence
Into the sunlight
Every breath a standing defiance
Of death and of clamor
Let darkness be scattered now

Be
Here in the free
We could just be
Finally
We’ll chase the sun
Naked we’ll run
We could be free
Finally

I’ll be here waiting in silence
Waiting for sunlight
To make all the world shine bright

All the stars fall in line
And the seas bow their heads
We remember our dead and we sing another day
As the silence it grows and the worlds fade away
All the sons empty their graves
We will sing another day
We’ll sing another day

Be
Here in the free
We could just be
Finally
We’ll chase the sun
Naked we’ll run
We could be free
Finally
We’ll chase the sun
Naked we’ll run
We could just be
Finally
We could be free
Finally

March 7th: Spirit

By Aaron Pazan ephesians_4__5_by_aners56-d52rjqv

For me, when I think of Spirit theses verses from Ephesians will always pop up in my mind, thanks to participating in an event that focused on these words. Here are the words from Ephesians 4: 4-7:

Y’all were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. Y’all have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything y’all are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given their own gift.

Despite the fact that we may not act, look or agree alike, we are given a gift thats individual to us. We are all connected as a church body, and we all have our individual gifts to use, for the greater good of humanity.

March 6th: Celebrate

By Aaron Pazan

Sometimes its hard to think about things to celebrate. As a college student I’m approaching finals week in less then 5 days. There is so much stuff I have to do in order finish out the quarter. And then there is General Conference (GC) 61 days away, the stress dreams of GC have started. Yet this quote by Tyler Knot, puts everything into perspective. “What’s the point of life if you don’t celebrate living? Dance in the sunset and let yourself frolic in the long summer grasses. Tell the clouds how lucky you are to breathe. They will listen, everything will hear.”

March 5: Endure

By Aaron Pazan

2 Corinthians 1: 6-7 (NET) But if we are afflicted, it is for y’all’s comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for y’all’s comfort that y’all experience in y’all’s patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. And our hope for y’all is steadfast because we know that as y’all share in our sufferings, so also y’all will share in our comfort.

Community is something I think we often forget about and don’t realize how important it is in our church life and our walk with God. We are made to survive, not just thrive. Community in Christ allows us to endure. We need other people, we need to feel valued and loved. How will you let others feel valued and loved?

March 2nd: Found

By Aaron Pazan 

tumblr_m77p9uobFx1r2fr72o1_500

The band Gungor is something I randomly found by chance. But, it’s a band I deeply resonate with. The music by Gungor really speaks to me in ways, that I can’t even imagine. These lyrics really speak for themself. Here they are:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?

February 29: Thirst

I am Mountain by Gungor 

I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There’s glory in the dirt
A universe within the sandtumblr_muykrbA4jn1qk10xmo1_r1_1280
Eternity within a man

We are ocean, we are mist
Brilliant fools who wound and kiss
There’s beauty in the dirt
Wandering in skin and soul
Searching, longing for a home

As the light, light
Lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight
Fight for our lives, for our lives

I am mountain, I am dust
Constellations made of us
There’s mystery in the dirt
The metaphors are breaking down
We taste the wind and sight is sound

As the light, light
Lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight
Fight for our lives, for our lives
As the light, light
Lights up the skies, up the skies
We will fight, fight
Fight for our lives, for our lives

Momentary carbon stories
From the ashes
Filled with holy ghost
Life is here now
Breathe it all in
Let it all go
You are earth and wind

February 27: Heal(ing)

By Aaron Pazan
In this season of my life, I have been noticing death and dying has come up more times than I realize. Death of friends loved ones, and seeing friends through the dying process of a loved one. The one thing that keeps coming up is grief, and grieving. Yet, the word for today is heal.

There is no one way or a right way to grieve. There legitimately is nothing you can say or do for a friend who is grieving and experiencing the death of a loved one. The only thing you can do is be in their presence and listen to them.

But this quote by Tom Zuba really resonates with me and I would like to end with it. “There are no quick fixes to grief. No easy answers. Every expression of grief that wants to be felt and honored and given its space must be allowed… in order to heal.”

February 26: See

By Aaron Pazan
For me when I think about see I think of a lot of things. But, Rachel Held Evans brings something to table that everyone should realize.

“Once a year, on a Wednesday, we mix ashes with oil. We light candles and confess to one another and to God that we have sinned by what we have done and what we have left undone. We tell the truth. Then we smear the ashes on our foreheads and together acknowledge the single reality upon which every Catholic and Protestant, believer and atheist, scientist and mystic can agree: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.” It’s the only thing we know for sure: we will die.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”
— Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

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