Good Friday Epistle for April 14, 2017

April 14th, 2017 by

Dear Friends at New Covenant,

 

“Do you know what today is?” I asked Eli as we waited for our haircuts.  “Yes, it’s Good Friday,” he said.  “And do you know what happened on this day?” I went on.  “Yes, Jesus died — can I have a lollipop Papa?”  “Sure, and you know that because he died you and I have eternal life.”  “Yep, I do.”

 

And he does — A few weeks ago Eli said to Mia, Barbara, during school time, that he was really excited about, and looking forward to, seeing his first father when he goes to heaven.

 

I am so thankful for the church year.  It lays out for us the gospel in a way that we can follow Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  (The gospel, the good news, is an event before it is a doctrine.)  And we are currently at the pinnacle, the high point, the most holy time of the year – the Paschal Triduum.

 

THE DAYS OF THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM

It’s also a bit overwhelming to try and know what to grab from it and share with you all.  So here are just 2 tidbits, a painting and a song, from my Holy Week encounters for your Triduum.

 

— This painting by Holbein has come to mind each time I have done the Stations of the cross this week.  I first encountered it in Dostoevsky’s THE IDIOT.

 

 

Portraits apart, this is perhaps Holbein’s most striking image. Since Dostoevsky’s observations in the nineteenth century, which dwelt on the forbidding aspects of physical decay and bodily corruption, the painting has been seen as the product of a mind steeped in the apocalyptic horrors that were unleashed by the first phase of the Reformation. But what is known of Holbein’s phlegmatic interpretation of the human condition belies this interpretation. Modern authorities suggest that Holbein intended to stress the sheer miracle of Resurrection and its imminence, since the minutely-observed level of decay in the gangrenous wounds suggests that we see Christ’s body three days after death.

— And I love this song by Rich Mullins and as I have read the gospel for Sunday you can’t miss that for Mary Magdalene, Jesus is her one thing.  Is he mine?  Yours?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM-84FX_-c8

 

My One Thing

Rich Mullins

Everybody I know says they need just one thing
And what they really mean is that they need just one thing more
And everybody seems to think they’ve got it coming
Well I know that I don’t deserve You
Still I want to love and serve You more and more
You’re my one thing
Save me from those things that might distract me
Please take them away and purify my heart
I don’t want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing
Cause what will I have when the world is gone
If it isn’t for the love that goes on and on with

[Chorus]
My one thing
You’re my one thing
And the pure in heart shall see God
You’re my one thing
You’re my one thing

And the pure in heart shall see God
Who have I in Heaven but You Jesus?
And what better could I hope to find down here on earth?
I could cross the most distant reaches
Of this world, but I’d just be wasting my time
Cause I’m certain already, I’m sure I’d find

[Chorus]

Every night and every day
You hold on tight
Or you drift away
And you’re left to live
With the choices you make
Oh Lord please give me the strength
To watch and work and love and sing and pray
Cause who have I in Heaven but You Jesus?
And what better could I hope to find down here on earth?
Well I could cross the most distant reaches
Of this world, but I’d just be wasting my time
Cause I’m certain already I’m sure I’d find

You’re my one thing
One thing
You’re my one thing
The pure in heart, the pure in heart
One thing
And I know that the pure
That the pure in heart that the pure in heart shall see God
And I know that the pure in heart shall see God
And I know that the pure
That the pure in heart that the pure in heart shall see God
And I know that the pure in heart shall see God
And I know that the pure
That the pure in heart (that the pure in heart shall see God)
And I know that the pure in heart shall see God
That the pure in heart (that the pure in heart shall see God)
And I know that the pure in heart shall see God
And I know that the pure

Songwriters: RICHARD MULLINS

© Universal Music Publishing Group

For non-commercial use only.

 

Blessed Triduum to you all!

About this author:

Carl Buffington

Carl Buffington, Rector My ministry at New Covenant began in 1993. Barbara, my wife, and our 3 children moved here from Evergreen, CO, high and dry to low and wet, quite a change. I was brought up in the northeast, a suburb of New York, and Barbara grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia. We met while I was attending The Philadelphia Divinity School in West Philadelphia where I received an M.Div. degree in 1972, and I was ordained a deacon and priest in the same year. I went to seminary directly from college. I earned an A.B. degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. For 5 years of my ministry I was a traveling evangelist, sharing the story of our Lord and his presence and power in a different church every weekend. What I have always loved about New Covenant is the blending of the charismatic, the evangelical, and the sacramental aspects of the Faith. And what still gets me up in the morning is seeing people change, seeing people encounter the living Lord. I just love to see hearts changed by the Holy Spirit. Education: BA from the College of William & Mary 1969 MA in Divinity from the Philadelphia Divinity School 1972 Ordination: Ordained in the Diocese of CT – Deacon and Priest 1972 Ordained and Consecrated a Bishop, Emissary to Boga Diocese, Democratic Republic of the Congo - 2015

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