The Foolishness of It All

Holy Week always brings me deep into the presence of the Holy Mystery, and fills me with words that can be neither written nor spoken, not even to myself.  Paul called it a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks, and he was right.  I think it was his way of saying that the whole event simply doesn’t make sense to any ordinary way of thinking.  Bringing Paul more up to date, we might say that it is a stumbling block to anyone who would force a particular doctrine of salvation on it.  Or, for that matter, to anyone who would require a particular way of expressing one’s faith in order to gain salvation.  In like manner, it is utter foolishness to anyone who would apply the rules of logic or scientific method to unravel it.  It simply won’t yield.

How many honored and much studied theologians have tried?  Like Aquinas said, in the end it all comes to straw.  Nevertheless, here I am, a sort of modern day Jewish Greek (so to speak), ordained by the church, and expected by those I’m called to teach, to provide The Answer: the explanation that will bring it all together and make it perfectly clear.  I am perfectly willing, want to, and try to do just that, but it always eludes me.  In the early 1990s a friend gave me a photocopy of Rowan Williams’ then out of print book Resurrection.  I read it and reread it again as at last shedding light on my own great questions.  It’s back in print, has been for years.  I’ve got a couple of copies and have given others away.  Reviews have not always been kind.  The big complaint is that his theology is far too poetic and never really comes to a tightly and logically drawn conclusion.  What other language than poetry could there be?

So, on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday I will stand before a few expectant people and do what I can to express some small portion of some small understanding of this Holy Mystery, and that’s all about I can hope for.   

3 thoughts on “The Foolishness of It All”

  1. How I wish this coming week would regain the primacy in our liturgical calender that it once had. But then birth is much easier to be joyous over than having a mirror held up and seeing the reflexion that led to an execution. I enter this week with dread, this sunday I will break down with racking sobs during the service, unable to complete the reading, it happens every year. The physical pain rises in my gut usually beginning on the wednesday before. Perhaps it is my heretical theology that there was no plan, the execution did not have to be and should have never been. The guilt weighs heavy on my soul, my heart rends. WE crucified him, we still crucify him, we still choose to crucify him. The moat in my own eye is displayed before me, I am called to own it, and I feel the pain it inflicts on creation, the pain it inflicts on me, the pain I choose to be numb to most of the year. I begin to realize that it is the plank in my own eye that builds the instrument of torture and execution that tries to silence the truth of God, the Word made flesh. It is in this week that emotions are turned over, plowed to make fresh earth in which to grow the love of God, the truth manifest, that God loves. God IS love, God desires love. And under the current of holy week, or above it, is the truth, the truth that we cannot silence God, God is more powerful than our silliness, our efforts to silence God are folly, not even the thing we men fear most, the chill of the grave, will stop God, can stop God.

  2. There can always be argument about the meaning, veracity, and authenticity of scripture. Those arguments extend to commentary as well. There may be argument about how you \”should\” feel or believe. However, arguments by others regarding your personal experience fail. They are yours and a valid testimony to the truth you have found in dealing with the Mysteries of your existence and transcendence.I commend you, and your kin in spirit, for sharing what you have discovered, and continue discovering.

  3. I\’ll be in the \”crowd\” also crying out Crucify Him and I too, will choke on the words. I don\’t like the idea of the cross and the death at all. I don\’t like to be a part of that crowd. I don\’t like the hymn asking me if \”I was there?\” Still I\’ll be there – listening again for an explanation that makes sense to me. Over at MindSieve this week, I asked about the cross and death and why. There were very nice responses, still the mystery. I agree with Bruno\’s saying \”the truth that we cannot silence God, God is more powerful than our silliness, our efforts to silence God are folly, not even the thing we men fear most, the chill of the grave, will stop God, can stop God.\” So I\’ll be in the crowd again, singing Hosanna this week and Crucify him before the week is done.Thank you for your thought- provoking post and for the faith that you share.

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