In Christian tradition, we entered into Holy Week yesterday. Holy Week leads up to the Triduum, which is the highlight of the Christian year.
As a part of my prayer and meditation this week I am reading The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. The first chapter concludes by highlighting the themes of holy week and the Christian life as a whole: “genuine discipleship, following Jesus means following him to Jerusalem, the place of (1) confrontation with the domination system and (2) death and resurrection. . . Two processions entered Jerusalem on that day (Palm Sunday). The same question, the same alternative, face those who would be faithful to Jesus today. Which procession are we in? Which procession do we want to be in?”
This Lent has been about several themes for me: lament and truth-telling, letting go, longing, baptism, nakedness, making choices, blossoming, border-crossing, and more. This week I hope to weave together some of these strands for myself and discover the death and resurrection I am being invited into at this moment of my life.
The two processions that Borg and Crossan refer to are the imperial procession of Pontius Pilate followed by his soldiers proclaiming the power of empire and the peasant procession of Jesus riding a donkey in mockery of the domination system powers, a procession proclaiming the kingdom of God.
Which procession do I want to be in? Does the practice of my faith truly demand something of me? Am I willing to confront the domination system and the ways it deals death in both subtle and overt ways? How am I called to witness to what is life-giving?
My journey this week calls me to both death and resurrection, both lament and joy.
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts
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Thank you for the comment April! I am delighted to spark something in you for your preaching. Lots of prayers and blessings for your sister and you as you journey together. And wishes for a wonderful celebration of turning 60, I hope it is a marvelous time in the midst of sadness. (PS-thanks again for recommending the laminator, I love how easily it works!)
Hi Christine, liked todays blog. well… I always like them but the image of the two processions sparked in my mind. since I will be preaching a lot this week it is wonderful to get a thought that sparks more thoughts. Thanks! haven’t been looking at the blog for a week or so as I have been in Toronto. My only sister has lung cancer and I flew back to be with her after it became official that surgery is not an option. She starts chemo next week. Living far apart doesn’t feel like a problem until something like this happens. Even though we only talk once a week and see each other a couple of times a year she is an anchor for my life. I will be in Seattle on April 27 and some of 28th. Coming with a friend to do something celebratory for my 60th birthday. Blessings, April
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