The Judeo-Christian story is called an epic. An epic is a story that continues to unfold and develop over time and through the events of human history. This epic story is the one we look to for the wisdom reveals the choices to be made if we are to live fruitfully amid what the Prayer Book refers to as the
changes and chances of this life.
We are also influenced by competing stories, narratives rooted in an unquestioning support of the status quo – business as usual approach to life in 21
century America. These are stories of power and powerlessness; of life as a zero-sum gain; of material prosperity and personal success; of the pursuit of personal satisfaction, of what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is potentially mine tomorrow.
What are the stories that shape the way you live your life? To what stories do you go for wisdom and guidance in the day-to-day making of decisions? What stories shape your priorities? If you consider yourself a person of faith, is the Christian epic story of faith at the center of your awareness? Or is it just one possible story among others, a kind of bolt on extra to an otherwise conventional life? This question challenges us to become more aware of how different and conflicting stories will push us off course if we remain unaware of their power over us.
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday when the crowds stripped the fronds from the palm trees to carpet the road for Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem. Their enthusiasm for Jesus is real, but they greet him in misguided expectation of an earthly warrior king. At the same time as Jesus was entering Jerusalem from the East, Pilate and his Roman Legions were entering the city from the West. Pilate lived in the seaside Mar E Largo of Caesarea Maritima. He hated and feared Jerusalem, with its labyrinthine alleyways, teeming with discontent. But once a year his governorship depended on making a show of force to police the Passover.
Both the crowds and Pilate are under the sway of a common story – a story about the competition for power – Jews verses Romans. We have two processions - one a demonstration of the nature of God’s involvement in our world. The other a demonstration of naked worldly power. Each is a story competing for our allegiance. Which will we heed?
But what in your life story will Jesus save you from? Episcopalians are a liturgical people. That means we celebrate our faith through the communal activity of worship. In worship we together re-experience the events of
and the Great Three Days of Easter. Will you join us and by your presence strengthen our participation in our Christian story, commemorated and celebrated through the cyclic drama of our worship? I hope the answer is yes.
See you in Church for the drama of Palm Sunday.