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Take and eat

by davesandel on March 29th, 2021

Monday, March 29, 2021                    (today’s lectionary)

Take and eat

Having crossed into Mexico last week for an evening meal and crossing back again, spending two days driving near the Rio Grande River, becoming aware of the deep disagreements between Mexico and Texas about this border in the 1830’s, I was caught short by a comment from Senator Cornyn of Texas this week, “President Biden has “emphasized the human treatment of immigrants, regardless of their legal status.” The senator intended this to be a criticism.

Here is my servant, my chosen one upon whom I have put my Spirit. He shall bring forth justice to the nations. A bruised reed he shall not break. The coastlands will wait for his teaching.

While I rested on the US side of the border at Motel 6 in Del Rio, I met Gretchen, middle aged, small, speaking with a New York accent but from North Carolina, waiting for repairs to be made on her bicycle. She was crossing Texas, then New Mexico and Arizona into California on her bike. I met her sitting with her legs crossed, face mask in place, reading a book on her Kindle, and I asked if she liked her book. She did.

Actually her bike repairs couldn’t be made in Del Rio. She was waiting for a rental car to be returned, so she could use it to carry her and her bike back to Kerrville, a hundred miles up the road in the wrong direction, and then back to Del Rio so she could continue west. She spent the previous night in the motel, and was hoping she’d get a car before having to spend a second night.

I know that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Be strong, take heart, and wait for the Lord.

Her route would take her through Langtry, where Roy Bean called himself the “only law west of the Pecos.” She would cycle through Sanderson and Marathon, down into Big Bend National Park, past Terlingua’s Ghost Town and then fifty miles smack up against the Rio Grande on FM (Farm to Market) 170 to Presidio.

National Geographic has called FM 170 one of the top ten scenic tours in the United States. Gretchen was clearly not in a hurry to get anywhere. I hoped she could continue her trip soon, surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, Chisos Mountains and the blue blue sky. So beautiful.

Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there.

I hope Gretchen is safely on her way again. I, on the other hand, am happy to return to Austin, after driving 1500 miles west through Texas and back again, back to people I love and to spiritual conversation. This is Holy Week, and I want to immerse myself in its liturgies and prayers. Jesus is so near during these last days.

President Biden wants to treat human beings humanely. How can that be controversial? When I think of it, I feel sad and angry. But I know not much has changed over the course of two thousand years. We will all sometimes choose poorly and, over time, reap the consequences.

The chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him … “Take and eat,” Jesus said. “This is my body, given for you.”

(Isaiah 42, Psalm 27, John 12)

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