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Mr Underhill
03-26-2005, 02:42 AM
Many of us are no doubt observing the solemnity of this day in some way. Some of us may have have dressed like Johnny Cash (you will note that my avatar is wearing black today), some of us may be fasting and praying, many will be attending church somewhere.

If you’re reading this, you evidently have not sworn off the internet for the day. So perhaps we might take a moment to be mindful of the sacrifice our Lord made to rescue us from ourselves and redeem all creation.

I thought a few lines of meditation on the meaning of this day would be in order for a cadre of writers. So please use this thread to share your thoughts with your brothers and sisters here.


♫Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle;
of the mighty conflict sing;
tell the triumph of the victim,
to his cross thy tribute bring. ♫

Right, who’s first? Guess that would be me.
______________________


Last night I attended a Tenebrae service at my church. At the end, the body of Christ joined in sacred communion. Before the altar I tore off a piece of the bread from the loaf held by the elder. This is the body of Christ, broken for you, he said to me. The pastor held the wine. This is the blood of Christ, shed for you, she said as I dunked my morsel of bread in the cup. When I pulled the bread out, it was dripping wine, so I held my hand underneath to keep from dripping on the floor. I licked some of the wine from the palm of my hand as I returned to my seat. As I sat there in the dark, there was still a bit left, dark and slightly sticky as I rubbed my hands together. Suddenly the whole thing was quite alarming.

Oh my God, I have your blood on my hands! I thought, and began to silently sob.
_____________________



update: I suppose we can extend this to go through Easter, if people so desire.

Lisa Y
03-26-2005, 01:19 PM
Oh my God, I have your blood on my hands! I thought, and began to silently sob. So do we all, Mr. Underhill

Inspired
03-26-2005, 05:46 PM
We have the opportunity to attend a church service from noon to 3 p.m., but I didn't this year. I missed it. Next year, I will have to sit in on it again. But, our 6:30 service was pretty meaninful, too. I play the piano, so I don't get the full effect of it (I had to keep those books coordinated and focus on playing, instead of the words.)

One of our songs, Lamb of God, by Twyla Paris really gets to me. Every time I play it, I can really feel the song. The lyrics talk about sacrificing the Lamb of God so that we can become lambs of God.

During some of the prayers, I was tearing up. It's so important to think and mean those words, rather than just listen or read them. After seeing "The Passion . . ." it's not too difficult to picture the crucifixion. I also recommend seeing The Gospel According to Matthew. http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&id=1802830237&cf=info If you ever read the "making of the movie" book written by the actor that played Jesus, you'll be impressed. He is the first image of Jesus that really stuck with me. In that movie, he is a real guy, not a pale, weak portrayal of Jesus. He smiles, hugs, listens, . . . he's more like Jesus than I had pictured in my mind. When you see the crucifixion scene in that movie, it is very touching, but not as gruesome as The Passion. I've let my kids watch it, and they start crying.

I like to grieve for Jesus. We often put Him at an arms length, trying not to think about the pain. May we also fulfill God's will, even when it is unpleasant and painful.

Ralyks
03-26-2005, 09:04 PM
I have really missed out on the Holy Week services this year. They are all held in the evening, which makes it impossible to attend with a 15 month old who goes to bed at 6 PM. Easter won't feel quite as triumphant now that I have missed the journey there...but I would like to share this poem I wrote as a reflection:


Shadow

Birth does not exist alone,
It dwells with Death and Loss,
As in the humble manger looms
The shadow of the cross.

Also, please stop by and see the Ancient Paths Easter Issue (http://www.literatureclassics.com/ancientpaths/magazine/easter.html), which contains poetry celebrating Easter, from Palm Sunday, through the Crucifixion, and to the Ressurection. Vote for your favorite poem in the issue. The winning poet will receive a prize supplied by the editor.

Mr Underhill
03-26-2005, 09:29 PM
I play the piano, so I don't get the full effect of it (I had to keep those books coordinated and focus on playing, instead of the words.)I have also been involved in the "production end" of the service (sound & light in my case), so I'm familiar with this feeling. Sometimes if I had everything set I would get caught up in the moment, or since I was monitoring the vocals very closely I could tell the singers were getting emotional, but still you can't let yourself go completely, since you have a Job To Do. In that case we had two alternating teams, so that the worship teams could also simply worship in alternate months.


I also recommend seeing The Gospel According to Matthew. If you ever read the "making of the movie" book written by the actor that played Jesus, you'll be impressed. He is the first image of Jesus that really stuck with me. In that movie, he is a real guy, not a pale, weak portrayal of Jesus. He smiles, hugs, listens, . . . he's more like Jesus than I had pictured in my mind.I've seen parts of that movie, and it is quite fetching. Another thing I liked is that the actor really looks Jewish! I say that only because I think we need some counterpoint to the standard portrayal, and of course because there are Certain People who think that he must necessarily have been blue-eyed and blond... Not that Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, isn't also a great film, for example, if you have seven hours to spare, but the Peter O'Toole stand-in playing Jesus is rather ethereal.

Another good movie is The Gospel of John. (http://www.gospelofjohnthefilm.com/mainpage.aspx) I would have said it was made by the same people as Matthew, but googling it just now I found out that this is not in fact the case. Gospel of John uses every single word in the book, and is part of a plan to do this treatment for all 66 books of the bible. This was quite well excuted when faced with the prolix fourth evangelist! The movie came out about the same time as Mr Gibson's movie, you may recall, but I liked it much better. The Passion just didn't "work" for me. I was too conscious of the standard Hollywood tarting up of the story throughout to really be impressed. Ham-handed tear-jerkers and lots of gore, the same old story. JMO, of course. The costumes and cinematography were outstanding, though.

Inspired
03-26-2005, 09:34 PM
I just bought the Gospel of John. I haven't watched it yet. Matthew is word-for-word from the NIV. That's one of the reasons I like it so much. I thought they were produced by the same people, too, though I have noticed the advertising being much different. Matthew wasn't advertised much when it came out - or I just didn't notice it. Glad to hear John is true to the text as well!

Mr Underhill
03-26-2005, 10:52 PM
I would like to share this poem I wrote as a reflection...That's the spirit! Thanks for the link too, I liked your Palm Sunday poem quite a bit. So here's mine – we're on to Saturday now, so I thought I would treat that. The day in the middle usually gets left out, doesn't it?


Saturday

We let him down that night, all of us.
We all fell asleep, until the guards came
And took him away. Some of us scattered,
Some followed, but none of us made it.

Eventually I got inside,
To the Sanhedrin, their mock trial,
Because I knew the right people.
But I did nothing. I stood there,
And though my heart ached,
I said nothing. I did nothing.
Outside Simon denied him three times in the courtyard.
I didn’t even do that.

All day yesterday we watched our dreams die.
Our world was crumbling, and all our hopes
Of a glorious kingdom, the shining Messiah,
Were dashed on the stones of Gabbatha,
Nailed to the wood at Golgotha.
Stuck with a stick by some foreigner.
Buried in a borrowed hole in the hill.

It’s over, all of it.
Now what do we do? Pick up the pieces?
Just us twelve –
No eleven –
A motley group of hicks
From the sticks of Galilee,
And a handful of women,
We should try to change the world?
Insanity.

They took the best of us,
The best man of our nation,
Beloved, glorious as a young bridegroom,
Wise as a grandfather,
And crushed him underfoot.
That’s how the world works.
You can’t change it.
Reality.

Yet in my darkness I see a glimmer of light,
In despair the taste of hope;
And I seem to hear a voice far off, crying
“Lift up your heads, O gates!
Be lifted up, O ancient doors!”

Inanity.
Hope dies hard.
Time to grow up and get on with life,
If you can call it that,
Quit our youthful dreaming.
Hope’s not alive,
It’s buried in a cold stone tomb.

Oh I could go on deceiving myself,
But I won’t. Not unless
I see it with my own two eyes,
Or touch it with my hands.
O still small voice,
Please leave me alone.

Vipersniper
03-27-2005, 04:52 AM
:cry: I became very upset with the proceedings in Florida and so therefore I knew that it was stressing me out. So I decided that rather get into a lengthyl arguement if you will with anyone on that particular site to just post that I would not be writing until I could see may way through this thing. I recieved a beautiful tape from a dear friend in Israel that I am going to listen to. It is hymns sung in Hebrew. Then I read an artilce about prison inmates and their guards sharing communion together and I thought about that and feel this way, isn't this what true atonement for our sins about? Then I also read words of a person wondering why Christians always shoving religion down there throats telling them that they were going to hell. So I just prayed this prayer for him. Dear Lord do not let my actions belie you and let not the words of my mouth cause anyone to stumble. For I judge no man and desire that the cross upon which you died be open for those that seek you. I would rather be struck dumb than to cause anyone to turn away from you by not being the christlike image of you. I got a lot of response out of that. So some times learning when to speak and when to not speak is also a message of the cross.

Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 06:05 PM
Thank you, Judy. May your prayers be be granted.

Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 06:09 PM
And thanks to all who have contibuted here.

Inspired, I notice you have a picture of a lake as your avatar (at least I hope it's not an invitation for us to "take a long walk..." as the old chestnut goes), and that several AbWriters have pictures of the shore, or water in some form in their icons. Myself included. I wonder what Herr Doktor Jung would have to say about that?

Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 06:22 PM
Right. Now Eastertide is upon us. I wish you all the joy of this triumphal day. However at this point I'm going to cheat and offer up someone else's work: a poem by the inimitable Edward Estlin Cummings.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Inspired
03-27-2005, 06:26 PM
And thanks to all who have contibuted here.

Inspired, I notice you have a picture of a lake as your avatar (at least I hope it's not an invitation for us to "take a long walk..." as the old chestnut goes), and that several AbWriters have pictures of the shore, or water in some form in their icons. Myself included. I wonder what Herr Doktor Jung would have to say about that?

I love nature. My greatest vacations have involved our tent and the great outdoors. That was my main motivation.

But, this would make a good thread. We could interpret the avatars of others.

I'll start a thread in Office Party.

Mr Underhill
03-27-2005, 06:29 PM
Interpret? Well that's a good start, but perhaps we should just make up lengthy stories about the meaning and origin of each avatar, with no pretense at factuality!

DrRita
03-28-2005, 03:01 AM
You all have contributed such great and thoughtful meditations and poetry. Today is the day we celebrate the most important and powerful event in the history of mankind I just wanted to share my own song of praise.

As Christ walked from that tomb that morning and frightened the guards half to death, he brought Satan to his knees in defeat and conquered death forever. Never again do I have to listen to lies and believe them. Never again do I have to be subject to the torment of guilt or shame. Never again do I have to have to live as thought this life was all there is. I wait, clothed in his righteousness, for his return. And I shall rise, like the Son, changed.

Vipersniper
03-28-2005, 07:08 AM
:heart: I have enjoyed reading the contributions to the post. It has certainly been refreshing to read them.