First Published During Lent - 2019
During Lent our Adult Christian Formation (i.e., Sunday school) class has been reflecting on Holy Week, day-by-day, leading up to Easter Sunday. When we began to look at the events of Maundy Thursday (the first day of the “Triduum”—in my opinion, the three most consequential days in the history of the universe— including Good Friday and Easter Day), it was striking how much “pathos” there is. The American Heritage Dictionarydefines “pathos” as the feeling of sympathy or pity. I think it also means emotional energy.
On Maundy Thursday as Jesus ate his last supper with his disciples, he said, “One of you is going to betray me.” Just imagine the angst his followers felt as they wondered, “Is this me? Am I going to let down my master in some moment of weakness?” Later that night Peter would hear the rooster cry, after denying Jesus three times. Do you think he felt pathos? By the way, if you would like to try to recapture these intense, faith-related feelings, please join us for Maundy Thursday services.
After Jesus had been arrested, flogged, and tried in a religious kangaroo court, he was forced to carry his cross to Mount Calvary, where he would be crucified. Along the “Via dolorosa”, numerous followers would experience pathos as they watched and ministered to Jesus in his agony. One way of patching into their deep feelings of faith would be to walk the Stations of the Cross offered by Grace Church during Lent. A word of warning: that may infuse your faith with life-changing pathos.
Our faith—yours and mine— is like a giant firecracker, just waiting to explode. Pathos is the “punk”, ready to light it. Right now during Lent, let’s ignite our faith with pathos—deep feeling, deep commitment, deep remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross.
With love and blessings for each of you~