By Alli Bauck
“Hi, friends!” A familiar voice enthusiastically welcomes me. It belongs to Annie F. Downs, a woman I have never met; but she and I have been on a virtual journey the last 5 weeks. She has been reading the Gospels to me each day.
Since I have ceased lacing up my shoes for an outdoor #Lentenwalk (mostly due to allergy avoidance), I have instead been getting my daily dose of podcast episodes whilst doing the following: cleaning, running errands, putting away laundry, crafting, and/or relaxing with a rejuvenating face mask (which happens to require the same amount of time as one of my daily Gospel podcasts).
My “junk” from this past week was that I took another detour riding the struggle bus. The current crud my body is battling knocked me out over the weekend. (Thankfully, I am feeling better; thank you for asking.)
One joy from my “walk” this week was when the Let’s Read the Gospels podcast started getting into the Holy Week events. Even though I have heard all of the readings as they rotated in our church lectionary, I can’t recall an instance when I listened to multiple accounts back-to-back. I found it very interesting, and encourage you to spend some time comparing and contrasting the Passion Week happenings from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Although my walk through the week felt more like an uphill crawl, God’s promises for me didn’t change: Jesus still met me, each day, with mercy and grace as needed. The Holy Spirit even used two care packages sent by friends to remind me that struggles suck—but I am seen and I am loved!
Only ten more days of Lent to go… Are you ready?!
P.S. If you want to join Annie F. Downs and her reading plan for April, she will be going through all four Gospels (starting with Luke) using the modern Message translation. Her episodes average about 15 minutes and end with a prayer. (To be honest, I didn’t like the sound of her voice at first but she speaks with such energy that I quickly got over my initial hesitation.)