First off, THANK YOU! Holy cow the ways you were “the church” last Sunday! Whether you supported it financially by buying off the Amazon wishlist, through your generosity and offerings to West, or by egging kid’s houses, you made a difference. You helped people learn of a church whose passion and love extends beyond themselves. You took our AMPED message and multiplied it. You were wiling to break out of your own comfort zone and do something different. In so many ways, you continue to show the world Jesus. There is no higher calling.

You created an altar out of egging. (You’ll understand what I mean in a minute).

Thank you! And a huge thank you to the ministry team that made this possible. It takes SO MANY behind the scenes to pull this stuff together. Huge shout out to Layne and the team for making this happen!

Secondly, we are at the cuspis of such an important time.

Sunday is Palm Sunday. The day we celebrate Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the final week/days that changed everything.

As we prepare for this week, I ask that you prepare your hearts.

I ask that you become very intentional about connecting with God.

It changes everything.

As you begin to think about doing just that, I invite you to read these words from Barbara Brown Taylor regarding finding and experiencing God.

The Bible I set out to learn and love rewarded me with another way of approaching God, a way that trusts the union of spirit and flesh as much as it trusts the world to be a place of encounter with God….

People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness.

God shows up in whirlwinds, starry skies, burning bushes, and perfect strangers.

When people want to know more about God, the son of God tells them to pay attention to the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, to women kneading bread and workers lining up for their pay.

According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow.”

How does one learn to see and hear such angels?

If there is a switch to flip, I have never found it.

As with Jacob, most of my visions of the divine have happened while I was busy doing something else. I did nothing to make them happen…. I play no apparent part in their genesis.

My only part is to decide how I will respond, since there is plenty I can do to make them go away, namely: 1) I can figure that I have had too much caffeine again; 2) I can remind myself that visions are not true in the same way that taxes and the evening news are true; or 3) I can return my attention to everything I need to get done today.

These are only a few of the things I can do to talk myself out of living in the House of God.

Or I can set a little altar, in the world or in my heart. I can stop what I am doing long enough to see where I am, who I am there with, and how awesome the place is. I can flag one more gate to heaven—one more patch of ordinary earth with ladder marks on it—where the divine traffic is heavy when I notice it and even when I do not. I can see it for once, instead of walking right past it, maybe even setting a stone or saying a blessing before I move on to wherever I am due next.

Human beings may separate things into as many piles as we wish—separating spirit from flesh, sacred from secular, church from world.

But we should not be surprised when God does not recognize the distinctions we make between the two.

Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars.

As we prepare to walk into this Holy Week, may we each be so in tune with the divine possibility and presence that we see the altars everywhere. Maybe we will even create a few new ones of our own.

Grace and Peace,