March 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

Today begins what we call ‘Holy Week,’ when Jesus entered Jerusalem on His way to the Cross. Church calendars will include special services throughout. Some will have choirs and children enter their sanctuaries with palm branches. Little girls will dress in their lovely Easter outfits. The Lord’s Supper will be served. Easter will be climactic. Many will attend.

We also refer to the celebration as the ‘Passion’ because of the unequaled extreme Jesus went to in His expression of love for us.

Sometimes we miss this, I fear – the ‘passion’ of God, that is. I don’t mean a movie that graphically depicts the gore and torture of Christ. I guess there is a place for that, unless it becomes the story. No, I am speaking to the reality that God did something deeply passionate in Christ’s sufferings.

Maybe we are afraid that ‘feeling’ it will make it less certain or less Orthodox. Perhaps we fear that ‘feeling’ anything will challenge our sense of security – I don’t know. What I do know is that when what Christ has done sinks in – really sinks in – all safety goes out the window, because I’m not allowed to reduce the Faith to some formulaic set of principles, and I can’t relegate my sin and sorrows to concepts – it becomes that personal. But this is where we discover that His love is deeper, sweeter, stronger, fiercer and more passionate than anything we could possess in anything less than the deeply personal nature of the Gospel.

The scriptures are filled with invitations to experience the Gospel beyond mere intellectual assent. He invites us to ‘taste and see’ that He is good. He instituted a sacrament that enables us to taste and touch the Cross by inviting us to the Table of Christ. Jesus demanded that Thomas use his own hands to feel His wounds.

No, I don’t think that God wants us to live cold and unaffected in the Faith – He desires that we live in the reality of our brokenness and His willingness to enter into it on the most personal of terms. This is the passion and lavish delight of the Gospel. God wants us believe what we believe, but He want us to feel it too – He wants us to see that He did what love is supposed to do – He expressed it at His own Son’s expense – It cost Him everything – It came with blood and tears and sorrow and wounds and death – with Passion.

And I want to feel that…


§ One Response to Passion

  • Robert Kuntz says:

    When I think about this last week of His incarnate life, I’m just awestruck.

    It’s Monday afternoon. The time is coming. He’s trying desperately to ready his clueless disciples while he faces his own mounting human stress and misgivings. He’s driving forward to that moment when it will all come down on Him. He knows exactly what is coming, knows he will face that moment of horror where he feels forsaken (as WE deserve to be). But He CHOOSES to go forward with it when he could have just left us to our well-earned damnation.

    It’s Monday afternoon. He’s in Jerusalem now, the donkey has been returned, and the cheering crowds have all gone home. Caphias and his gang are plotting non-stop, working the angles, weighing their advantage, making sure of themselves before they make their move. They want to be ready when they put it to Pilate, who at this point has only vaguely heard there’s been some disturbance.

    It’s Monday afternoon. Jesus has a perfect understanding of what’s coming. He’s saddled with his crew imperfect disciples who haven’t any notion of what’s coming, so they cannot offer him any comfort — indeed they only make it worse.

    It’s Monday afternoon. Friday is coming. He could stop time in its tracks so that Friday would never arrive. But He loves us too much to do that

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