Monday, 21 March 2016

Holy Week

The face of  the child Jesus from a stained glass window, reflected in the wine in a chalice, in St. John's Church, Roslyn.

I had no commitments yesterday morning, Palm Sunday and in the afternoon presided at a prerecorded  Eucharist to be broadcast on Radio New Zealand on Easter morning. There was a congregation of 50 or 60 and the choir was in glorious voice. We wore white, said the Easter versicles and responses, read John's account of the resurrection and I pronounced an Easter blessing. The dean preached an erudite sermon which, along with all the Easter music and hymns, will be repeated in a few days time.

So I began this week's journey towards the cross with a full hearted proclamation of the Resurrection. It seemed bizarre at the time, but as I participated, oddly appropriate. The ending of any story determines everything that went before it. In a Shakespearean play if there is a wedding at the end the play was a comedy, and if there is a death it was a tragedy. Everything else in the play is seen as a precursor to this final event; it is the path that is walked towards this conclusion and is coloured by and participates in the conclusion. This week, so far,  of sombre reflection on the passion of Jesus is being seen and felt by me to be infused with resurrection in a way it hasn't ever before.

Perhaps my experience of Lent this year has aided that perception. More than ever it has seemed to be not so much a time of penance and repentance as a helpful removal of several things which have stopped me seeing what is always present and always true: the unconditional, unwavering love extended to me by the one who is at the heart of all things.

Part of my Lenten discipline has been to blog every day, and a powerful and instructive discipline it has been too. I will continue this week, but I think I'll suspend some of  my ongoing conversations; so I'll get back to reflections on daily activities, and thinking about Rene Girard, and commenting on what might be happening in the Anglican Church next week and for this week confine myself to a simpler discipline: reflecting on the cross of Christ, knowing that this primal event as much as my own life and all my little reflections on it can only make any sense at all in the blinding light of resurrection.

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