I’m tellin’ ya, Holy Week wears me out. It takes up every bit of me. It is particularly so when the Daily Offices are maintained along with our own services and then the common services of the four Episcopal Churches within a 20 minute walk of each other. All good, but wearing. The places, the smells, the sounds, the people, the remembering. It is now over, it was glorious, lots of people – new and old, and “real life” begins, again. (After a bit of rest, that is!)
It is quite difficult trying to discern this culture, this time, these people, and what it takes to make the reality of the faith – and not just faith as faith or faith in faith, but faith wrapped up in relationship with a personal and apparent God – what it takes to make the faith present in a way that resonates. Honestly, what is the essence of life within the swarm of God and maintenance of life and neighbor and all that life presents to us? What goes on in the minds and emotions of those walking by on crowded streets, sitting next to me in trains speeding through dark tunnels from place to place, people wrapped up in books and iPods and video-games in lives that have little or no time to stop, listen, and consider? What goes on in their minds? What does it take?
In every culture and at every time – in every generation – we have to wrestle with and deal with the question Jesus presents: “Who do you say that I am?” This process of answering that significant questions will be different within each generation, I suppose. What do we say when the quest is no longer for answers to great questions, but the expression or assertion of self – one’s own thoughts, feelings, ideas as if the “amateur” is the same as the “expert.”
There are those within the Church universal who are determined to take Christianity into a “Brave New World,” there are those who wish to take Christianity back to the supposed “glory days” of the 1950’s. Then, there are those who wish to be engage in a corrective of the excesses of the Baby-Boomer “60’s” generation “reforms.” That generation was determined to take the Church out of out-dated traditions and remake it in their own image. What did we get, instead?
“The only alternative to tradition is bad tradition.” – Jaroslav Pelican
(From an interview with the late Jaroslav Pelican by Krista Tippett on “Speaking of Faith,” March 22, 2008)