Sunday, February 17, 2013

Retrieve Lament, Day 5 (art meditations + suggested resources for Lent 2013)

"Once, ritual lament would have been chanted; women would have been paid to beat their breasts and howl for you all night, when all is silent. Where can we find such customs now? So many have long since disappeared or been disowned.
That’s what you had to come for: to retrieve
the lament that we omitted."
 (Ranier Maria Rilke, from Requiem For A Friend)
During Lent I'll share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting this time of tension between dying and birth.

Won't you join me?

February  17, Day 5 

Today I was confirmed into the Anglican communion.  Part of the liturgy included a call and response between the Confirments and the Bishop

The Bishop asked, "Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil?" 
We said, "I do."

The Bishop asked "Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ? 
We said, "I do, and with God's grace I will follow him as my Savior and Lord."

And when I read Jesus' battle with the devil those forty hungry days in the desert I hear the words of renunciation.  When I look at Duccio's visual interpretation of the God-Man who did not play a Divine-trump card to renounce evil -- who fought the enemy by the very Word of God, angelic aid on the ready -- I see the physicality of renunciation.  

Like His own Son, I renounce evil with God's help.

Luke 4:1-13

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Temptation of Jesus

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’
11 and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Temptation on the Mount

Suggested Resources for Lent:

  • Lent Library at Baylor University's Center for Christian Ethics

"Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east." Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Wreck of the Deutschland

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