Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rector's Rambling on Palm Sunday - March 24, 2013


Since the beginning of the year we have had more funerals than we generally have in an entire year.  Active parishioners, as well as those whose failing health has not permitted them to be regular about church attendance, have gone home to be with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Several of those funerals have included, at the cemetery, the playing of taps as a part of military honors and remembrance.  Even those family members and friends who have been quite stoic in not showing emotion at the service at St. John’s or at the beginning of the prayers at the cemetery, find themselves moved most powerfully as those mournful notes sounding from a distance.  There is something in that simple tune that touches hearts.

This Sunday we run the gamut of emotions in one service.  We start with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem for the Liturgy of the Palms, and then we hear about the trial, suffering, and death of Jesus Christ during the celebration of the Holy Communion.  We go from joyful acclamation to sorrowful suffering and loss.

We have the grace of hindsight to know that this would not be the end of Jesus, but rather it is the way in which he pays the price of our sin and conquers death through his resurrection.  Today the story is couched in glorious worship and celebration.

But I want to commend to you two things.  First, take some time to read today’s gospel lesson alone, at home, and really meditate on the price Jesus paid for us.  Secondly, come to the Good Friday service and spend 3 hours with him as we meditate liturgically on his sacrifice.

There are several hymns on Good Friday which, like Taps, evoke such strong emotion.  And they should.  JESUS DIED FOR US.  Let us this week enter fully into that mystery, so that we can even more fully embrace the joy of his resurrection on the third day.