Today is the beginning of the Tridium or the Three Great Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday (Easter vigil). Holy Week is full of interesting tensions. We walk and pray through the last days of Jesus before his death, we follow Jesus to the Cross watch the disciples fall away and flee, and yet we know that Easter is just around the corner. We are not surprised by this story. Yet, I never experience Holy Week and the prayers and liturgies the same. Each year these prayers and liturgies the events they recall and re-enact touch on my world and life ever so slightly differently.
I approach tonight's Maundy Thursday service and enter the Three Great days, with much on my mind and with carrying certain struggles and pain that members of our congregation are bearing. I am wondering about Obama and hope and all those who are hopping in his candidacy, wonder if our hope really is in us Americans as a united decent people. I wonder if "progressive" Christianity and Christians is really any better than the Religious right. I wonder about my identity and identities. With all of this I come to that Thursday of the command the new command, to love as Christ and God has loved humanity. Oh, we like to talk about love, but this Love we are called to, the new commandment, is a terrible thing. It lead Jesus to the cross, it was a love that his followers at the time could not and did not comprehend. This is not a command to join together in unity because we all are really decent people deep down. No this love loved even in the face of torture and rejection and hatred. This love the love we are called to gave up everything so that everything could be returned to its rightful and just and righteous place.
So tonight we wash feet as Jesus on that night of the new commandment washed his disciples feet as a symbol and reminder of that love and the command. I am called to lay aside my pride, my identities and follow Jesus to the Cross once again to be reminded there is only one place of true hope and it is not in politics or politicians or the American people or the goodness of Humanity, but it is in God and Christ and that Jesus died and rose again, victor over death. Victor over all injustice war, greed etc., all that sets itself on the path of destruction and inhumanity, which lurks in each one of us in our secret pettiness, our inner resentments and seeking to protect our precious identities.
Here are some interesting links that for some reason lead me to write the above reflection:
Pastor Gavin is is asking about Jesus and Heaven and Hell
The Young Fogey has some interesting posts and links on Obama and Rev. Wright
And then as many have noted We have just passed the 5th aniversary of the war in Iraq.
the Winged Man reminds us that a prayer for peace is a prayer for conversion
the Young Fogey gives an interesting list of lessons from Rob Dreher and other links on the war.
And Sister Julie posts a piece by John Dear SJ on how to live a peaceful life
edited 3/21/2008 And I had meant to link to two of Steve Hayes recent posts: One on the Iraq war and the other Frank Schaeffers response to the controversy over Rev. Wrights recent remarks.
Blessed Maundy Thursday. Lord Have Mercy.