By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector
As we enter Holy Week after passing through the portal of Palm Sunday this weekend, we’re likely to encounter a very different experience from that to which we’ve become accustomed. As Anglicans and Episcopalians, we appreciate the invitation to follow the life of Christ, told against the backdrop of Hebrew scripture, by observing the liturgical calendar. Each year at Advent I, we begin a new journey together through our common spiritual heritage. The experience of retracing the steps of Christ becomes especially intense during the Lenten season, often culminating with the emotional highs and lows and highs of Holy Week and Easter. The process can be taxing, even exhausting, but always leaves us renewed and inspired.
Please know that this year is no exception. Despite our inability to gather physically together, we remain unified as a parish and as a people of faith. We draw from a common well of living water and are called to a common purpose for which we have been fully equipped by the Divine, even when we feel under-resourced, disoriented and uncomfortably restricted. At the outset of this Sunday’s epistle from St. Paul to the Philippians, a critical directive is issued. “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Given the uncertainty and fluidity of our present pandemic, with all its social, medical and economic repercussions, we may find ourselves in uncharted territory during Holy Week and Easter. We may be tempted to give in to disappointment and even depression.
I urge you, instead, to keep an eye on the Christ. Listen carefully as scripture tells us what he was thinking; how he reacted to dark and tumultuous forces; what actions he chose to take; which words were spoken by him; and even more impactful, which words went strategically unspoken. Be intentional about identifying key characteristics of the mind of Christ and finding ways to assimilate those very characteristics into your own heart, mind and soul.
During this unfamiliar and unwelcome departure from our preferred reality, we may not always know what day it is. But we can awaken each day and retire each night knowing that the very mind of Christ is available to us as a consummate solace and source of joy and hope, even in the midst of suffering. We’re all in this together. Together, we’ll get through to the radiant, restorative realm of resurrection.