Christians are in the midst of Holy Week, even as Jews now are in the midst of Passover. It's a wonderful annual connection that should remind Christians of their Jewish roots and remind Jews that they remain a light to the nations.
This past snowy Sunday, when many churches in Kansas City were closed because of the storm, my congregation managed to hold services, and it was one of the best worship experiences I've attended. There were only 50 or 60 of us present and the intimacy was quite touching (the photo here shows some of us).
Our pastor, Paul Rock, finishing a sermon series on Moses, reminded us that the Holy Land is not some distant goal we'll reach when we finish a particular job or take a dream trip or lose a certain amount of weight. Rather, the Holy Land can be found in present moments of our daily lives. Our task is to pay attention, to be mindful, as the Buddhists teach us, and recognize such holy moments and places each day.
Several years ago my wife and I began attending a 7 a.m. Stations of the Cross event at her former church, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church at 67th and Nall. Moving through a quiet sanctuary with a small group of people and reciting a liturgy appropriate for the day turned out to be a way of noticing the holy for me. I'm sure the folks at St. Michaels would be happy to have you join them this Friday.
Or, if you want, you may join us Friday at my congregation, Second Presbyterian Church at 55th and Brookside in Kansas City, for a self-guided Stations of the Cross from noon to 1 p.m. and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. This, too, I've found to be a profound, worshipful and holy time in the past.
It seems that adherents of most faiths sometimes focus so much on what's ahead -- whether it's a big wedding or a longing for eternity -- that they miss the smaller, holy moments. In this bi-holy week, let's try not to do that.
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SHOOTING FOR THE THEOLOGICAL MOON
The new archbishop of Canterbury says his focus will be on "reconciliation." Which, of course, is a step or two beyond simple forgiveness, which is hard enough. Reconciliation requires rebuidling a broken relationship and not ignoring it. In this time of biting theological and ideological differences within the church universal, this is a big task.