An invitation to Holy Week

Welcome to…

Easter

… is it all about bunnies and chocolate eggs or is it about the redemptive sacrifice of Christ?

This Easter I thought I’d give you something to consider that might give a
different flavour to Holy Week. In the Gospel of John, the journey of
Jesus and his beloved friends together displays an increasing flavour
of intimacy from when he first meets them and they begin travelling and
learning together. You get the sense, I think, that one by one, as the
relationships between them get more intimate, they begin to know, to
recognise who it is that has come amongst them. Jesus himself admits
his own identity, he tells us he is the Son of his Divine Father.

 

But in the week they enter Jerusalem, this week, he does a series of
remarkable things – he suggests to his disciples that they could enter
into the very same intimate, familial relationship with the Divine that
he has. In fact, at their final meal together on Thursday before his
arrest that evening, he welcomes each of them into his Father’s
household by washing their feet – acting not as the master of the
house, but as a servant. At the foot of the cross, on Good Friday he
gives his most Beloved Disciple (who is the exemplar for the community
of what discipleship truly is) to Mary as her son and Mary to him as
his mother.

Finally, having promised the coming of a spirit of great comfort who
will dwell among them (and within them), just as the Shekhinah – the
Presence of the Divine – dwelt in the Temple, he bows his head and
gives over his spirit. This great work draws his beloved friends into
this divine loving relationship. Some traditions have the Gospel of
John ending right there, with no mystery of the resurrection, no
post-resurrection teaching and no ascension story. I think when you see
the scope of what Jesus accomplishes at the moment of his death, you
could easily see why the rest of the Gospel could be just a kind of
tidying up.

From this perspective (and this is not, I stress, a mainstream
perspective) the great Mystery of Easter, is not about death and
resurrection (as beautiful as those themes are) and not about a
sacrifice of the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. The
Mystery of Easter is the formation of a great, rambling, loving
household of brothers and sisters who dwell in God as God dwells in
them. That household continues to this day, you are a part of it and
Easter is a sacred call to recognise – just as the disciples recognised
– who it is that has come amongst you.

So, this Easter, the big thing our little parish is doing is a great,
big, rambling meal. We’re holding an Agape Feast at my house this
Thursday. I will welcome everyone by washing your feet. We’ll join
together in prayer and in sharing a cup and some bread as a part of a
meal. We’re asking everyone to bring some food to share. There will
good conversations, much merry-making and maybe even some drinking, who
knows?

Please join us! Come and step into the parish household for a night and
experience some Johannite hospitality. Meet us, let us meet you and
open your Easter weekend with warmth and good company. Details at the
bottom of this email.

If you can’t make it along, please accept my humble blessings on this
most holy season. Holy week has a very strong, sacred energy wound into
it, so no matter what you’re doing, please make some time each day for
quiet and let your soul unwind into the transformative potential of
Easter.

With love,
Father Tim+

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