On this “hinge day” in Holy Week — after Jesus is laid in the tomb on Good Friday and before the first fire of Easter is kindled for the Great Vigil — this teaching from Bishop Mary Glasspool offers a powerful reflection on what the “he descended into hell” part of the Creed has to say on this Holy Saturday about our mission as the Church the other 364 days of the year. Shared in gratitude and with her permission.
The first followers of Jesus were Jews—not only did they themselves identify as Jews, but they were largely recognized by most other Jewish sects as Jews. Of course, they had this peculiar belief in the bodily resurrection of their leader, Jesus, but even this wasn’t enough to kick them out of the Jewish community.
“Grace transforms our failings full of dread into abundant, endless comfort … our failings full of shame into a noble, glorious rising … our dying full of sorrow into holy, blissful life. …. Just as our contrariness here on earth brings us pain, shame and sorrow, so grace brings us surpassing comfort, glory, and bliss in heaven … And that shall be a property of blessed love, that we shall know in God, which we might never have known without first experiencing woe.” – Julian of Norwich
Jesus was a revolutionary zealot. This truth might have been nearly lost to history, but it is re-emerging with greater frequency and deep ferocity. As intersectional revolutionary movements of liberation spring up throughout our nation and around the world, we are meeting once again the historical Jesus who was convicted of sedition and executed by the state. And we are realizing he has a claim on our life that is deeply entwined with liberation and justice for all.
All Saints Church was honored to host noted theologian and gifted teacher Marcus Borg as our keynote speaker for LENT EVENT 2014. During his visit, Dr. Borg offered three public lectures, all of which can be viewed below. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a leading biblical and Jesus scholar, Dr. Borg has been in the forefront of the movement calling the church to reclaim the Christianity of Jesus by putting its faith in action in the world.
March 23, “Memories, Conversations and Convictions: Thinking about Our Journeys”
March 23, “Mysticism, Resistance and Counter-Advocacy”
March 24, “Amos, a Case Study in ‘What I Wish Every Christian Knew’ “
Janine Schenone on Christmas Day, 2013:
“What would it be like to gaze into the eyes of an infant Jesus, trying to get to know him better? I think that Jesus knows us in and out. I think God knows us thoroughly, but wants to be known by us. And I think what happens when we gaze into Jesus’ eyes is that we start to gain in self-knowledge… We get a sense of who we are and what we could become in Christ…”
There is a crack, a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen, Anthem
“Why do you hate the baby Jesus?”
A very nice woman from my Catholic parish raised her hand after my presentation. It wasn’t the sort of question I had hoped for after spending a couple of hours in a crowded parish hall talking about the liturgical year. I thought I had made the point that Christmas was about so much more — that the “walking / talking Jesus” needed to be part of our Christmas Eve celebration, that the passion, the death and resurrection of Jesus were with us that holy night too, as we prayed the Eucharistic prayer. But maybe she was on to something. I really did have a problem with the baby Jesus, or more to the point, with the kind of sentimental Christianity that is more comfortable with a helpless babe than with a grown man talking about how we are called to treat the poor. My favorite image for Christmas in those days was of God crashing into our world, leaving broken pieces and shards of reality, making a mess of our assumptions and comfortable habits.