Monday, March 30, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 03/29/15: Past and Present, Sacred and Secular, Frost and the Zags

1.  I can never keep this kind of stuff straight in my head, so I don't know if, for the church, Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, but, for me it does.  The Palm Sunday service packs a lot of drama in it, beginning with Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem and before long the service features a congregational reading of the events leading up to the crucifixion and the crucifixion itself.  So, this is what happens: the Palm Sunday service takes us into the contrasting emotions of triumph of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem and the horror of what followed -- betrayal, denial, despair, mob violence, and the capital punishment of Jesus.  And then, as Holy Week progresses, the services relive these events, beginning with the Last Supper on Maunday Thursday, the death of Jesus on Good Friday, the sweep of biblical history on Saturday in the Easter Vigil service, and the celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday. As much as anything, I experience my personal history at the United Church of Kellogg, my days at Whitworth College, and my years at St. Mary's Episcopal Church the most deeply during this week -- sunrise service in Kellogg, turning the campus into stations of biblical history at Whitworth, including a sunrise service, and the dignity of Holy Week services at St. Mary's.  It all poured into my memory this morning at St. Andrew's, College Park today and I had that scintillating experience of being physically in one place, but spiritually in many places during the course of today's service.

2.  Just in case I would happen to lose track of my residence in the secular world, I went for a cinnamon raisin bagel and cream cheese at College Park's Bagel Place after church where the place was packed with University of Maryland students, some just getting out of bed at noon, enjoying bagel breakfast sandwiches and others with laptops open, doing schoolwork.  For me, this is what my life has always been about, the living in the tension between the sacred and the secular, relishing both, and today, as morning turned into afternoon, this bagel shop gave me entry back into the world where I spend most of my hours and days.

3. I double tasked late in the afternoon, keeping an eye on the developments in the Duke-Gonzaga game by checking the score on and watching an intriguing episode of A Touch of Frost. The episode focused on race relations in the fictional town of Denton and an attempt by Supt. Mullet to diversify the police force.  It was fascinating to see Jack Frost duped by his white informant, who carried a grudge against the black father of her child, into thinking a string of robberies in Denton had been carried out by black residents of a Denton housing project.  Sadly, Duke defeated the Zags and Inspector Frost uncovered the truth, all in a close to two hour time frame.  I experienced more emotional contrast on this most interesting Palm Sunday.

No comments: