It’s Holy Week in the Church calendar now.
The world isn’t longing for another easter egg hunt or free chocolate. The longing of our hearts isn’t for a bigger and better stage performance. We’re yearning for Jesus, still, all of us, always.
The Church is (hopefully…) our place and community for the detox from the here-we-are-now-entertain-us frenzies of our culture.
Strip the rhetoric when we strip our altars. Still the bells and our scrabbling hearts, lay down the palm branches next to the gold spray painted easter eggs and sky-writing Scripture verses and slick direct mail brochures. Fill a basin with water, instead of free cotton candy, and wash someone’s feet. Tear apart the simple bread, pour a glass of wine, and remember, I’m learning to resist the urge to pontificate. Set up an outpost for the Kingdom of God, right in the teeth of suffering and death and greed, and practice it: We were loved right to the end. Even now, we are loved, right to the end.
oh, love each other!
Theology belongs to the artist, just as much as to the apologist or activist or entertainer.
And I think we need more theologians with a poet’s heart: a little imagination when we speak of God never hurts. The best art leaves a bit of silence, room on the edges, for interpretation and response. It is often in the white space of art where I find the Holy Spirit, hovering, stirring, waiting.
It’s Holy Week in the Church calendar now. Leave a little room on the edges, don’t fill it all up, Church, with consumerism and light show performances or with hermeneutical gymnastics and atonement theories: leave a little room for the Love and the breathing, for the remembering and suffering, for the grieving and the longing, and the Holy stirring of an interruption. Joy comes in the morning.
(The quote I’ve written above is from the Holy Week Readings of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.)