Enough

March 25, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

Palm & Passion Sunday
Mark 14:1-15:47

Listen here:

The entire passion story was read using the dramatic reading of Mark’s Gospel found at this link: Lectionary Page

 

 

Both Shepherd and Lamb

April 18, 2014

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Good Friday, April 18, 2014 – Year A

Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Hebrews 10:16-25, John 18:1-19:42

If you were here this past Sunday, you heard me explain that these narratives about Jesus’ death are called “The Passion” because the Latin root of the word is passio, which means suffering.

Throughout the Passion narrative from Matthew read on Sunday, we got a sense of the suffering Jesus endured, yet today’s account from John is quite different. In John’s gospel Jesus is the one directing the course of action, from beginning to end, and this is reflected in the Passion story, as well.

In today’s reading, after Judas brought the soldiers and temple police into the garden where Jesus was, instead of Judas kissing Jesus on the cheek, as told in Matthew’s version, here we have Jesus stepping forward on his own. He asks the soldiers who is it they seek, and when they say “Jesus of Nazareth” Jesus responds, without hesitation, “I am he.” Read the rest of this entry »

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Palm Sunday – The Passion of Christ (Year A)

Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:36-27:66

We’ve finally arrived at Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday. While using the word “Passion” may seem unusual, the Latin root of this word is passio, which means “suffering.”

Palm Sunday is a sensory overload. When I attended Emmaus House Chapel, Claiborne Jones, the vicar, would say “It’s the day of the church year when we do everything that we don’t do any other time.” And there is some truth to that.

And you have to admit, the Passion story makes a powerful centerpiece. The dramatic reading of the Passion of Christ brings it more fully to life. Yet, as we heard it today, just now, we must understand its purpose on this day – which is to provide an Overture, if you will, for Holy Week.

gone-with-the-wind-1939

gone-with-the-wind-1939

The Overture is that musical score at the very beginning of a musical, before the curtain goes up or during the opening credits, that weaves together small portions of various songs that will be part of the overall story.

For those who have seen the musical before, when they hear the Overture it brings to mind the context of each of the songs, drawing the audience in, heightening their anticipation of what is to follow. But, it doesn’t capture the whole story – you still have to watch the scenes that follow to get the full experience.

Similarly, the Passion story of Palm Sunday is like an Overture. It’s an overview of the story – the story that we will be participating in more fully throughout Holy Week.

For much of Christian history Holy Week was a time when people went to church every day of the week. In more recent times, there would be more active participation at least during the Triduum – which are the three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Yet even participation in these three days occurs less and less often, crowded out by busy schedules.

Consequently, Passion Sunday becomes a sort of substitute for Holy Week. It’s a shame really. It’s like listening to the Overture of a musical and then leaving the theater – you miss so much.

So, today, I invite you to enter fully into Holy Week, particularly, the Triduum. It provides an opportunity to experience the Passion of Christ more fully, and in so doing, to prepare more completely for the miracle of the resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »

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