Rector's Column April 2016

by the Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin, Rector 

        Upon Christ throw all away;
               know ye, this is Easter Day.
        Gather gladness from the skies;
               take a lesson from the ground;
        Flowers do ope their heavenward eyes and a
               Spring-time joy have found;
        Earth throws Winter's robes away, decks
               herself for Easter Day.
        Seek God's house in happy throng;
               crowded let His table be;
        Mingle praises, prayer and song, singing to
                the Trinity.
        Henceforth let your souls always make each
               morn an Easter Day.
                                    Gerard Manley Hopkins

Once again, we have journeyed through the holiest days of the Christian year, have passed through the Week of Weeks. In the space of a few short days, we walked with Jesus as he entered the holy city of Jerusalem for the last time, and waved palm branches to celebrate his arrival. Once again we gathered with him and the Twelve at the table of the Last Supper, celebrating his unending offering of himself in bread and wine become body and blood. We experienced the injustice of his betrayal and arrest, the long trek to the hill called Calvary. We witnessed once again--and participated in--the tragedy of his crucifixion. And then, after the long, lonely night, we stood in wonder as he emerged from the cave on broken feet toward the great conflagration of the New Day, bearing on his body the proud marks of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of fear and death and hell itself. In short, during Holy Week, as at no other time in life, we experienced the full range of human emotion and experience.

And now that it is all over (but, of course, we know that Holy Week and Easter are never "over"): what then? Will we succumb to the temptation to pick up after Easter right where we left off on the Friday before Palm Sunday, none the worse but perhaps none the better for the journey? Or will we, instead, become new, living in such a way that our lives would not make sense but for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Ours is not a faith in the empty tomb. Ours is a faith in a living Lord; and that living Lord calls us to enter and engage and encounter the world as reflections of his light and life; to become the ongoing evidence of the new life and the new world God has wrought through the Son. What an astonishing vocation; and what a marvelous privilege.