Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Oh, the endless crucifixion ...

I'm finally back from my Easter holidays, though I have to admit that they weren't very "Eastery." Given that the categories "tradition" and "liturgy" play a significant role in my attempt to work out a theological hermeneutic, they play a surprisingly small role in my day to day spiritual life. Which I'm not necessarily content with - it's just the way fate has shaped my current context.

Having said that, I think I can say that one part of the actual Easter Sunday liturgy of my parents' Anglican church spoke to me in a personal way. In the midst of my otherwise distracted thoughts, the repeated response to the intercession remained echoing in my head long after the service:


Living Lord Jesus,

Bring life out of death.

That evening I had a heated discussion with my wife about a particular negative characteristic of mine which I've at best only registered intuitively. I've known that something is wrong, that it's damaging me and the people I know, but it's become so natural to me that I do it as a matter of habit. This destructive attitude has become part of my identity, part of the way I conceive myself, my history and my world. Recognising it, admitting to it hurts. It took a while, yet after persistent discussion and the patience of both partners I had to sink on my bed and recognize that a part of me was wrong and had to die. I've had to do this dying thing quite a lot (or at least it feels like it) and it sucks. It's akin to having the ground ripped from under your feet to be left dangling in a cold void.


And as I lay there struggling to come to terms with this the words in bold above reverberated through my head. At first it was my own petition. As so often in the past this petition can feel like crying out into space. But I then learnt, as on other occasions, that God really is a God of life, and that all the dying we need to go through is just part of the process of getting somewhere else. He's good and faithful like he says he is and somehow - I don't know how he manages it - he turns up at the right time to gently heal us and push us on. He's the great Gardner who's yearning to pour water into the wilderness in order for it to bloom. I guess we just have to learn what the wildnerness is before anything can grow there.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
UPDATE:
I've just read a brilliant post by Halden of inhabitio dei on a Christological reading of the Psalms. He used Psalm 30 as an example. I wonder if it's true that just as we are "in" Christ, so we can become "in" David, making his Psalms our own.

1 comment:

anthony said...

you have been tagged by anthony at oldtestamentpassion.blogspot.com