Archive for April, 2009

So Here We Go

Monday, April 27th, 2009

I would like to express my deep gratitude to you for your prayers, support, and hard work toward making the consecration and the entire weekend of March 21st such a glorious event.  Everything about it revealed what is true and beautiful about our tradition and our corner of the world.  Northwest Texas is alive, vibrant, and like the big sky above us, open and expansive.  Your hospitality was an outward, visible sign of your love for Christ and His Church.

Hardly a day passes without someone telling me about their experience of the consecration liturgy, and their sense of God’s presence and power within it.  Perhaps Celia Ellery of Good Shepherd in San Angelo expresses what many of us felt, when she writes: “The consecration service on Saturday was beautifully organized and visually stunning. … The moment for me in which the presence of the Holy Spirit was most profoundly tangible was when the bishops gathered around Rev. Mayer and laid hands on him.”

I am grateful for Celia’s reflections, and I am hesitant to add much to her thoughts, as I find words to be inadequate.  Nothing I can say with words can describe the indescribable.  Like any profound experience of God’s presence, the event is beyond words.

That’s why we are blessed with poets, artists, musicians, and yes, liturgists.  Poetry does not “describe;” it evokes something within us which is beyond words – beyond rational thought – as does art, music, and liturgy.  Our sacred text, the inspired Word of God, points to the presence and power of God beyond the words.

So, some of us traveled to the mountaintop on March 21st, and like our ancestors we might be inclined to make three dwelling places and rest in the experience beyond words.  But as the story goes, the way to abundant life is the way of the cross.  So along with Peter, and John, and James we travel down the mountain and take the road to Jerusalem – interestingly enough, this week.

So here we go.  Crucifixion.  Resurrection. Ascension. Pentecost.  All of it is beyond words.  The four evangelists will portray the event differently, not as contradictory descriptions of an event (like four perspectives of a crash), but rather, as an evocative religious experience of death and resurrection – an experience which finds words inadequate.
May your Holy Week experience of our Lord’s death and resurrection be beyond words.