I sit here and write this on Holy Thursday. After the Holy Unction service last night, I find myself pensive and introspective. Therefore, this post is coming straight from my heart, and not from the topics I have on my list to share with you…which are also from my heart…but in a different way. I hope you understand.
I’m also reading a book right now called “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller. I’m on the chapter about “Coolness” and how people are attracted to what is cool in the world, and not what is meaningful. He also talks about the tendency people have to admire others without actually knowing what they believe in.
I know that many in this world don’t think what we do during Holy Week is cool. I am guessing that if you are reading my blog, you are one of the people who understand how cool it really is. Long candlelit services, beautiful hymns, and time-bound traditions of the church unite us with each other, and with God, in a way that is elusive to others who just don’t get it.
Donald Miller writes “I had this idea once that if I could make Christianity cool, I could change the world, because if Christianity were cool, then everyone would want to deal with their sin nature, and then most of the world’s problems would be solved.”
I would insert “Orthodox Christianity” into this quote, and make it my own. We’ve been doing this for 7 weeks now. Dealing with our sin nature. The secular world, and dare I say, much of the Christian world doesn’t think this is cool, but we do. Because we know what we believe, and we know that without understanding our sin, we can’t fully appreciate what is going to happen on Saturday, and truly celebrate on Sunday. If only the rest of the world knew.
When I was a child, Easter was chocolate bunnies and egg hunts. As a young adult, it was a special day at church, a new dress, and brunch reservations with my friends. A fleeting…yes…He died for me. And then within an hour after, “I’ll take the spinach omelette.” Now, as an Orthodox Christian, it is about God, His Son, Resurrection, how much I needed Him, and still need Him today. As Orthodox Christians, we take Great Lent and Holy Week seriously. Not just seriously in our minds as other Christians do…but physically. We devote hours and hours of our time, and stretch our discipline to it’s limits because our love for Him goes beyond our own comfort and even understanding at times. And in return, the Resurrection becomes something that we couldn’t fathom before. Something that is so profoundly personal, that it transports our souls with gratitude that transcends understanding. It’s a mature Faith. One born of something inside ourselves that we might not completely understand, but it’s there. The Holy Spirit who lives in us, and directs us.
Now that’s cool.