Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Psalm 51

Ash Wednesday - Year B

Psalm 51

Penitential approach — wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
Discipleship approach — TEACH ME WISDOM

purge me with hyssop
LET ME HEAR JOY AND GLADNESS

restore me
I WILL TEACH

a broken spirit
DO GOOD, REBUILD

We begin Lent with choices of approach. Some will appeal to some, but not to all. All-in-all, the discipleship approach bears more hope and fruitfulness than the penitential. This also accords with the beginning of Lenten disciplines looking toward baptism and membership in Christian Community. Little-by-little, we shifted from an affirmation to a denial-of-self. That shift carried with it the seeds of destruction. A church cannot last (though it has for a long time) only built on penitence and atonement and other doctrinal formulations. A Living G*D will simply move on and leave it doing its rituals.

May Ash Wednesday find you still moving toward discipleship and living out the belovedness of baptism.
 

1 comment:

  1. I really like this Blog and couldn’t agree more. How has the Church ever lasted this long with this theology and these rituals interpreted in these ways?

    I got back from my only trip to Spain in 1999 overcome by the horror of all the churches, now museums, vying to have the most bloody, tortured crucifix of all, kept behind black grills so no worshipper could get close, and 8% or less of the population ever attending worship except for baptism, marriage, and death. I began to shriek to anyone who would listen, when I came back, WE HAVE GOT TO FIND ANOTHER WAY TELL THE WONDROUS STORY. The Church is its own worst enemy, and what it has done with the Gospel and what Jesus came to show us of God and the job that was left to disciples and us ever after,is criminal.

    I agree that the Church as is will die but the message will go on and benefit from its new embodiment, whatever that will be and which is even now emerging all over the world, will be more helpful to the world than anything that has been given it by believers since the middle of the 1st Century. At least, that is my prayer and the end toward which I have worked, as you have.

    Thanks, Hazelyn

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