And So We Come to a Close…
Thank you for joining us as we have observed just some of the wisdom that could be gleaned from the convergence of Holy Week, Pesach, and Ramadan. These teachings have come from a commitment to the study and practice of Deep Ecumenism. We hope that you will join us in the future for more offerings from Yerusha’s Deep Ecumenism Initiative.
If you would like to receive more teachings, learning opportunities, and events related to Deep Ecumenism and Yerusha’s many other innovative projects, we hope you will consider supporting us as we develop these programs further. And now for one last bit of wisdom…
Determined To Live In The Light
by Pastor Larry Block
The unholy residue of our human experience. We are wounded and we wound. We are complicit in the suffering of humanity, in the injustice and darkness of this physical world. In Lent through Holy Week, we acknowledge our participation, intended or unintended, in the brokenness of our world, by either thought, word or deed. In Mind. In our Actions. In our very Psyche-spirit. And yet in this very real reality, we also experience the entering of the Divine. We long for the Holy. Faith swells within us and joy and love come to dwell within us.
We begin this season, this journey down this valley of shadows filled with the ruins and disparities of our physical and mental world. We mix the oil of divine essence with the ashes and mark our foreheads with the words, “You are dust and to dust you will return.” We enter the journey seeking metanoia -transformation – repentance, forgiveness, healing, realignment with the Holy and commitment to rise up against the darkness of human inhumanity. Raising hope that this world can be renewed. We bury the Alleluia of our hymns and liturgy.
On Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, the stories of our spiritual ancestors and their exodus are told and we break bread together acknowledging our human brokenness and suffering and the promise of God’s presence. The altar is stripped of all its symbols – left bare – and in the darkness of the hour, we leave in silence.
Good Friday. Jesus is crucified. He dies. Not a time for theology. No explanation. Death is death. It is the end of our existence in this physical world. We sit at the foot of the cross at Jesus’ feet beside his mother Mary. We share her grief and sorrow. We join our tears with the tears of all sorrow. For all the sufferings of humans. We leave our service in silence and darkness.
Easter Sunday. The stone is rolled away. The tomb is opened. New life arises. The sun rises. Celebration of new and renewed life with joy and thanksgiving begins. The Holy One has called us out of the darkness of our own tombs of death into new life. Renewed in our hope and in faith, and committed in our struggle against the darkness, determined to live in the light!
Pastor Larry Block (he/him) worked for around 50 years in repair and restoration as a congregational pastor for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. His underpinning of study (including graduate) is systemic theology and anthropology. Deep Ecumenism was a life-long, deep longing and burst to life through the lives of Rabbi Victor and Rabbi Nadya Gross.
As we sit down to our Seder and Iftar tables, we wish all of you a meaningful Good Friday and Easter weekend, a blessed Pesach, and sweet Ramadan. Until next time!