Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Holy Tuesday

Elizabeth Says it Best

I've given up blog-reading since early February. I spent a little time today catching up on a few of your blogs that I expected would nourish me. Elizabeth Kaeton's Telling Secrets is one of those. And she did not disappoint, as I knew she wouldn't. In an essay she posted Friday, I find she has articulated why I'm going to church each day (or evening) this week, and why it feels so very important to me to make this walk with Jesus during this particular week. Here's just a bit of her essay.

Innocence. Guilt. Accusations. Lies. Betrayal. Suffering. Death.

These are the major themes of the story of what Christians call Holy Week which begins this Sunday - The Sunday of The Passion, or Palm Sunday. These elements are what we must walk through in the final steps of our Journey through Lent.

It’s no wonder – no wonder at all – that many people want to avoid Holy Week like the proverbial plague.

In what theologian Paul Tillich named, “The Age of Anesthesia,” it comes as no surprise that many people avoid coming to church until Easter morning.

Who wants to hear of such things? Isn’t the ordinary stuff of our postmodern lives already too full of these things? Give us celebration! Give us joy! Give us something to feel good about!

Isn’t Christianity supposed to be about ‘good news’?

Why, yes. Yes it is.

The Good News for those who walk with Jesus during Holy Week is that in a culture that cherishes ‘rugged individualism’ we are not alone. We are assured that God knows the intimate details of our human predicament.

God suffered with us in that long ago time, in that ancient city, on that lonely hill. A part of God dies every time innocence is lost, guilt is unmerited, accusations are false, lies are told, betrayal is perpetrated, and humans suffer unjustly.

The fullness of the celebration of Easter cannot be known unless you . . . .

Well, go read it for yourself, if you haven't already.

And thank you, Elizabeth.

I led evening prayer tonight, as I did last night. I'll confess I find the office a little disappointing. I'm finding the readings – without any homily – a little disappointing. I do maintain a period of silence after the readings, and I spend some time in reflection on them. But I really miss the opportunity to have a preacher who has prayed with those readings share her reflections with us.

What I most enjoy about evening prayer is the long time spent in prayers and intercessions, and the opportunity to do that in my community. I'm adding in several of the prayers from "the back of the book" (BCP pp. 814 ff). So far, nobody's complaining about the time spent on our knees in prayer.

As I wrote last night, I find the "ordinariness" of these Gospel accounts rather jarring. We know what the disciples didn't: that they are moving inexorably toward a hideous climax. All that will start with Thursday. Right now, I'm just walking slowly and quietly along this Holy Week path.

No deep thoughts here. Just quiet ruminations as I move through this week.


Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I find myself humbled and honored that I was able to minister to you through my thoughts and words.

Bless you, Lisa. And, while we have never actually met, I give thanks that you are my friend.

3/21/2008 8:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Even more tonight, Elizabeth. I've managed to be with my parish every evening this week. Walked that walk with Jesus, liturgically at least.

And tonight we crucified him.

He's dead now and lying in a tomb. Hope lost, destroyed. Some grieving him, tending his corpse. Some now hiding out. I think it's important to dwell with that reality of his death for a time.

And, yes, you helped me very much. As you do so often.

3/21/2008 8:59 PM  

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