HOLY WEEK

On Sunday, we begin the commemoration of the central events of the Christian story. In the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, we believe that God acted to bring about the defeat of darkness, and established his Reign of the New Age. During Holy Week, we walk with Jesus through the last week of his earthly life, and are able to ponder deeply the characters and events. It is most important that we listen deeply, opening our hearts and minds to a deeper understanding of God’s grace and love.

The epistle reading for Palm Sunday says, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,”. This is our goal in Holy Week, to let the mind of Christ be formed in us.

Please take time to be in the Scriptures and prayer during this week.

Father David

P. S.  There are collects for each day of Holy Week. They are found on page 219-222 of the BCP.  These would be a good way to start your daily meditations.

LENT VIII – continued

Remember, in these chapters Jesus is giving his final instuctions to his disciples. His final instuctions in his embodied life, that is. He continues his promise that the Advocate will come, and Jesus and the Father will be with them through the Spirit. But now, Jesus provides a warning to his disciples, and by extention to us. Listen well!

A point of truth, an inescapable fact – there is a fundamental dividing line between the world and Jesus and his disciples. The world is on one side, Jesus, his disciples, and the Father are on the other side. This is a fundamental division; no grey area here –  you are either on one side or the other. The world does not like to acknowledge this dividing line.  The world wants to say that we are all the same, that there is no basic difference between humans. Commitment to Jesus and God’s Kingdom in the eyes of the world is just a choice of preference. The world does not see this choice as having ultimate consequences. When Jesus entered the human sphere, did the work of the Father, chose his disciples, and proclaimed God’s kingdom, he was establishing this division. And the world does not like it. In fact, the world becomes hostile and even deadly. It killed Jesus. We need to face this fact if we are going to follow Jesus.

A crucial question – are we so identified with Jesus that the world finds us objectionable, even hates us. This is not about being an obnoxious Christian, and alienating everyone through our rudeness. It is about being so identified with Jesus that the world is called into question by our life. Something to ponder.

LENT VII

I have been reading a massive study of Paul, the Apostle, by Bishop N. T. Wright, one of my favorite Bible scholars. In the first volume of the book, he describes in depth the religious, philosophical,  and political world of the first century. The Mediterranean world was dominated by Greek, Roman, and Jewish thought. In the face of this massive world of thought, Jesus chooses twelve and pours his life into them. He teaches them, works with them, sends them out into the world to do what he does, corrects their failures, works with their doubts, and now the time has come to leave them.

And what does he give them.  A promise! There is no bible, no seminaries, no theological books, no church buildings, no priests or preachers, no spiritual conferences, nothing, nada, zip; except this radical promise – the Father will send the Advocate, who will make me indwell in you, so that I am always with you. Always.

All you have to do is stay connected with me, and love each other.

The audacity of this astounds me. Jesus clearly intends to overcome evil through the cross, establish God’s kingdom on earth, overcome all the works of darkness, and establish the New Age promised by the prophets. And he is going to do it through these twelve, and their converts, and all he gives them as he leaves is this promise. I am the vine, stay connected, the Spirit will indwell you. That is all you need!

Must be enough.

Father David