Today is Maundy Thursday. This is the day we celebrate the institution of the Last Supper and remember the time Christ spent with his disciples in the Upper Room on the last night of his life.
Lately, I have taken stock of the blessings Christ left us when he left his physical body and ascended into heaven. Holy Communion is one of those blessings. I am so grateful for anything that gives me the opportunity to remember Christ and his passion for the remission of my sins. I am grateful for anything that blazes the trail to Him.
I am grateful for the liturgy. I am supremely grateful for the opportunity to read the scripture in my own language and for the people who gave their lives to present this gift to me. I am grateful to live in a country where I can attend a religious service without fear of reprisals. I am grateful that I can pray to God at any time of the day or night and expect an audience on the authority of a crucified Christ. I am grateful that I can stand up in a liberal university setting and say who I am and what I believe and not have the credibility of my work come into question.
I do not believe that we as Gen X (and younger) Christians realize the freedom we have in Christ, yes, but also in society to practice our religion boldly. We neglect praying for one another even though it is the lifeline of our very beings. We neglect the scripture even though it is easy to obtain and to read. We neglect Holy Communion even though there is no consequence to taking it. We neglect the opportunity to make simple confessions of who we are without evangelizing or making head-on attempts to convert. And we can. We can do it fearlessly! We must not neglect these things because when we do, we do so to our own detriment.
The devil (and I believe it was the devil) has laid a burden of guilt on our heads for what has been wickedly done in Christ's name in the past. Most of the people reading this blog know what I mean. Many, many of us have been crushed by the wickedly religious actions of a few spiritual "authorities." I know I have. But to reject the opportunity to practice my religion in freedom and boldness does not atone for those sins. In fact, it deepens their influence by making me a silent bystander instead of a bold worshiper who would seek to lay claim to the truth purchased with the blood of the reformers, of the martyrs, of Christ.
Oh, what a sin I have committed by hiding the truth of my life. The truth of my life is that I am a Christian. I won't say "follower of Christ." I won't say "truth-seeker." I won't say anything that would keep me from having to embrace that ancient insult that marked my forefathers and foremothers in the faith. I am a Christian. I believe in the authority of Scripture, I believe in the power of prayer, I believe that Jesus Christ himself is present in the bread and the wine. I believe Christ is the Way. And yet, despite this freedom to publish this confession for thousands to read, I am humbled by this admission. Who am I? Gentile child. Female, too. Rejected by others, loved by Christ. Who am I to lay hold of the power of an Almighty God to reach down and save me? Nobody. Praise be to God.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Tonight D. and I are attending Maundy Thursday service. I'm not going to publish where I go to church because the amount of traffic on this site has started to freak me out, but e-mail me if you want more information.