I hope our season of lent has been meaningful, wherever and however you have found the time to make
your own spiritual journey. There are just so many ways.
At St. Andrew’s we have been journeying together in a special way on Wednesday evenings for night
prayers and a book study (The Happiness Hypothesis), informally sharing thoughts and insights as we explored how many people of diverse culture and wisdom explore adversity, minimalism, relationships,
sages, religion and shared our own ideas about finding happiness in kindness, doing good, surviving, and love.
On Sundays we have been following themes of progressive thought, shedding religious superstition and outmoded traditions, focusing on building a faith for the present.
Our journey is coming to a close, as we approach the most difficult, emotional and raw week of the year. You all know the routine: Holy Week, services during the week framed by Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Your mother makes you go even though you now have children of your own! Or you go because it’s what your heart and soul wants. Either way, do you expect to find anything new, insightful, anything that makes you FEEL and think in a way that feels stronger, or makes sense in a way that actually matters?
Here is why I still go. I believe when we are together we have the courage, intelligence and ability to do and change anything. Our human condition, suffering, our recognition of diversity and equality, our strength in adversity, even our darker thoughts about both the ridiculous things we see in politics and global news, and serious issues that seem so big … our capacity as human beings is limited only by our imagination and our passion to do things together.
During Holy Week there is time for a story. You’ve heard it as often as you’ve heard any other story, from childhood till now. And like childhood stories, the words haven’t changed. The people are the same. But like all good stories, the reader and his or her world has changed. Our need to speak a personal truth, stand for who we are and what we believe, to fully embrace what matters (suffering, love, change, relationships, engaging the whole planet, learning a new way to live a life that respects people, the earth, the environment, all living things … add your own here), there are so many things our hearts call us to answer … our ability to see in one story, one human being who lived his truth … is worth hearing again in the hope that we will find ourselves affirmed, passionate again, or moved … whether realist, optimist, pessimist, atheist, agnostic, or religious …. we need to be together…. God’s people come in about 7 billion varieties … and that’s just about the right number, to change the world.
May your Holy Week and Easter inspire and light up your passion, wherever the journey may find you.
The Rev’d Mark Pretty