Too Mutch

...a safe place to dance with ideas, play with theology, and re-create a life implicated by God

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dead Man Riding

The pace of Lent is quickening. We are approaching the rise in conflict in the story. We are also drawing closer and closer to the climax and resolution. It's a story many of us know...and are therefore not surprised by. But entering into the final week of Lent with a renewed commitment to join the journey of those first pilgrims, maybe we can reflect on all the twists and turns they experienced...the hope...crushed and renewed.

Palm Sunday is this Sunday and is the start of HOLY WEEK. It's the Sunday that we celebrate (if that is the right word) the triumphal entry of Jesus on his last trip to Jerusalem. We call it triumphal now, but only because we know the end of the story. It's the week when Jesus says, "it's go time." He has predicted his death a couple of times at this point. The conflict is coming to a head...and he is going to ride (walk) right into it. On Palm Sunday, Jesus is a dead man riding. There's no turning back now. For us--on this lenten journey (with our fast)--there is no turning back now. We, in order to finish this pilgrimage, dive headlong into Holy Week, where we will partake in a week of paradoxial climax and resolution. Here are our ancient days of celebrating:

Palm Sunday--Along with Jesus and his early followers, we begin "walking in the way of the Cross." Are you ready for the jeering and the persecution of Jesus and those that would identify with him? Are you ready to walk the via de la rosa? Can you carry the cross? Are you ready for death?

Maundy Thurday--this service celebrates the "night that Jesus was betrayed." Again, it is both great and terrible at the same time. It is very dark--for he will be betrayed and tried and the next day crucified. But it is also the night that Jesus has a final meal with his friends and institutes this supper for all of his followers. He promises them ultimate victory in the New Covenant. There is hope amidst all the fear and pain.

Good Friday--we remember the day of the cross and the brutal crucifixion of Jesus. How can that be good? It is certainly NOT pleasant, but it is good in the cosmic sense of Jesus conquering the very evil that was set against him. We know now...the plot has many twists and turns.

Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil--The ancient Christians would have held a vigil the on Saturday night, which would culminate in the taking of the resurrection eucharist. It's a bit like having a midnight service on Christmas Eve or ringing in the New Year. At the very moment of Easter Sunday, you ring in the day of the year that celebrates Christ's victory over death through the resurrection...all that means for him...and all it means for us. It is the day that reminds us that our journey will some day come to a similar end. We can rest in the hope of the resurrection. It will not be without pain and death and suffering, but it will be wicked sweet indeed!

We've come to the BIG week. Enter into it with a renewed PASSION. Don't, like the disciples, fall asleep now...


At 2:32 PM, Blogger John Frye said...

Thanks for these good and vivid reminders of "the Way."

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous kim said...

preach it brother!!! you said it.

Oh precious man of sorrows. he was despised and rejected by men; we esteemed him not...the rose of sharon

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