Saturday, March 31, 2007

No Towels, No Keys

Today was the last day at the Bethlehem YMCA of what was known as the "Men's Fitness Center" which served those willing to pay an extra $200 a year with a towel and a key to a locker on signing in at the desk. A keypad with a secret code known only to members allowed access to what I can only say was a paradise for those who like that sort of thing. Steamroom, sauna, whirlpool, and being able to read the newspaper naked gave a certain "boys club" feel to it. There was another locker room for men's "regular" members which had just lockers and a shower room.

Tomorrow we will only have one men's locker room. The towels can be purchased for $75 a year (or bring your own) and no keys will be given out. You bring your own lock and towel. New faces are already visible as the lockers from the old regular means locker room have been moved into the Fitness Center. As I left today the maintenance folks were ripping the old sign "Men's Fitness Center, Members Only" off the door I have gone through hundreds of times.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. A cosmic change made 2000 years ago will be remembered and renacted. It will change the rules and swing wide the doors of heaven forever. The former "members only" policy of Israel will be expanded to include all. ANd this begins its annual cycle tomorrow. Its also called "Passion Sunday" as we read the story about teh execution of Jesus. While tomorrow is a heavey day for us as Christians, it also reminds us that cosmic shifts come at great price and are not easy.

As I adjust at my gym, we will need to revisit that annual adjustment to understanding ourselves as undeserving recipients of a loving God who submits to death in order that we all receive teh saving embrace of divine love. Getting the keys to the kingdom is better than keys to a locker and the towel of service given to us by Our Lord is a happy alternative to the anything we can recieve from the world.


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