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Friday roundup: Five things worth paying attention to this week

4.6. 2018 Posted By: The Mennonite 230 Times read

Here are five things worth paying attention to this week. These are designed to expose you to a perspective you may not normally come across in your daily lives.

1. Easter is not over
We are now in the Easter season, one of my favorite liturgical seasons of the year. Last Sunday’s lectionary passage was John 20, where Mary Magdalene encounters the resurrected Christ. Mary was the church’s “first lady of proclamation,” testifying to her encounter with the Holy. Who are the Mary Magdalenes here, now, in our midst? Who is bringing us the Good News, and are we listening?

2. Spring renewal
One of the best parts of the Easter season is that it heralds the season of spring. In Northern Indiana, only a few plants have dared to make an appearance, as it is still quite cold outside. Yet in other parts of the country, new life is flourishing. Spring is a good time to take stock of where we are emotionally, physically and spiritually. What needs to be “renewed” in your life? What needs to grow? How can we tend to those things?

3. Jesus Christ Superstar
While on the theme of Easter, I had the pleasure of watching a live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on network television. This productions starred John Legend as Jesus, Brandon Victor Dixon (from Hamilton) as Judas, Sarah Bareilles as Mary Magdalene and Alice Cooper, of all people, as Herod. I was not allowed to watch this musical as a child, but grew to love it as an adult. The performances were spectacular, as music, choreography and drama took precedence over the “fame” of those in the cast. Each time I watch this musical, I’m reminded again of how Jesus was an enemy of the state, and considered a “dangerous” person to be associated with. In case you missed it, Jesus Christ Superstar is available to watch on Hulu, and you can watch a clip below:

4. “Dear Liberal White Women”
A friend sent me this article Seema R. that has resonated with something I’ve been feeling but unable to name for the past month. Seema R. talks about “Liberal White Women” and their ability to sometimes be tone deaf to oppression and sometimes take on the role of oppressor. This article is not meant to put anyone down; rather, it seeks to help people understand how listening, accepting and understanding can go a long way in learning to relate to people of color.

5. Reactions
Given the state of our world, I find myself wanting to react. I react on Facebook; I react with friends; I react with strangers; I react in my writing. There are many times when reactions are appropriate, but that’s not always the case. Reading this article by Rania Naim freed me from some of the burden I feel to have a reaction and response to absolutely everything that floats into my circle of influence. Sometimes, the most mature think you can do is walk away, and move on.

Joanne Gallardo is pastor of faith formation at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana.

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