Topic: Neo Liturgical Praxis
How do we talk about this...?
Holy Week is terrible. It is a time when we intentionally remember the suffering of our LORD; both physically and mentally. As lent draws to a close, we continue to find ourselves in the desert experience of self denial—embracing, the obedience to God found only through suffering.
I am certainly not speaking of self mutilation, or a doctrine of works as a way to acceptance by God, but in very real tangible ways, embracing God’s journey through picking up our own cross, following Jesus, and in reverent ways finding the things that we hold higher than Him; putting them away as an act of worship.
Joy is found in the closeness of God as we draw nearer to Him, but this joy is very conflicted. There is a terrible agony realizing the deadly seriousness of God’s love for us. The physical pain that Jesus endured is emotionally painful for us as we realize the physical cost; but as we draw near to the end of our “Lenten Desert,” our heightened awareness and sensitivity to the spiritual seriousness of our lack of “acceptance” of God and His priority in our lives; our consideration of Him and His mission, is staggering.
Not staying awake with Him for one hour, pales in comparison to the things that we hold in higher esteem than Him. I am feeling the personal conflict of the joy of appreciation to Him, and the pain of knowing the agonizing price he paid for me.
I do know that there are folks who are part of us, who simply didn’t want to do this—with reasons galore—telling themselves, “what’s the point…this won’t change anything.” True, for those unwilling to place one foot closer to our risen LORD, this exercise was futile. It is impossible to steer a parked car… But, I know of a few, whom through this observance, life as they once knew it is ending and a new journey – a new life – is beginning.
I am still conflicted by the joy of drawing close to Jesus at this time, and the heartbreaking reality of what Jesus suffered as we observe the last leg of our journey through Holy Week. This is another kind of pain which we will embrace anew – looking forward to the real thrill of Resurrection.
Today is Maundy Thursday Service at the Moyer’s 7:00 pm. Tomorrow —Good Friday— we will show “the Passion of the Christ” on the corner of York and King Sts in the courtyard. Sunday will be the Victory Celebration!
Until then, please consider what it cost God to let you know how deadly serious is His love for you...