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An invitation to a “wonderful” Holy Week!

April 20, 2011

We are often urged to have a solemn Holy Week.  But this year I am inviting folks to have a wonderful Holy Week.  I came upon the following as I was working on the Easter message for Sunday.  May it open you to the mystery and wonder in the events of this week.

“Wonder is written into the fabric of our lives, our faith, our world. When we lose our sense of wonder, of amazement, curiosity, and awe of the world around us, we are left alone with our words. In our faith tradition, God’s name is always found in mystery: Moses met God in the fire that does not burn the bush; the Hebrews knew God is a name they could not pronounce; Thomas confessed to a risen Lord. Most of us are more familiar and comfortable with the philosophical and ethical traditions of theology which try to clarify articulately the nature of God and the meaning of God’s name. But there is also a wondrous history throughout the Christian tradition of those who affirm the mystery with its incoherence and glory; the mystics who found unique ways to describe their religious ecstasy; the musicians who rely on the music beyond words; and the contemplative who are overwhelmed not by the muddle but by the mystery and in the end keep silence.

 “Of course, Christianity is not mainly a mystical religion. The Word became Flesh: our God is a God who chooses to be born human and to speak through the prophets and apostles. Thus we are rightly held to a tradition of words to God and about God, a tradition which has shaped us and which in turn we shape. We must seek to reform our language and to make the words of our culture, which are different from those of the last generation, speak faithfully the mystery of God. But we cannot believe in the words themselves, as rigid dogmatists may like to do, as if the words really can express the essence of God. Always, human words revolve somewhere around the divine center.”

 from Gail Ramshaw (1988) Worship: Searching for Language. Washington D.C.: The Pastoral Press.

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