On Saturday night, our inquisitiveness took My Joy and the Old Fool to Goshen College’s Umble Center to savor the sounds of the Steel Wheels band. Connectedness also drew us since Trent Wagler and Angela Link Stoltzfus, my granddaughter-in-law, are first cousins. Click here to get a taste of this bluegrass mountain music. Near the end of the program Trent asked a rhetorical question: Why do we sing?
On Sunday afternoon My Joy and I enjoyed another musical genre. We went to the AMBS Sermon on the Mount Chapel to hear the St. Joseph Valley Camerata do a concert on British music through the ages. The Old Fool is not so musically literate that he can fully enjoy either Steel Wheels or the Camerata, so he echoes Trent’s question, Why do they sing, and why do we want to hear them?
The events of Holy Week dominated recent posts on the website and sharpened the Old Fool’s inquisitiveness, curiosity and doubt. Why does the church spend so much capital observing what appeared on Palm Sunday to be a failed coup? Why do we sadistically follow the trek of Jesus from courtroom to the cross on Good Friday? How can we accept the gruesome portrayal of the God of love as an abusive parent? Why permit the seeming failure of death to cast its shadow over us on Tenebrae?
What is the real meaning of Resurrection? It may be that we are drawn to these events because of their beauty, the awe they inspire in us, and the memories they rouse. Something about them pleases us, but the larger question is, do Holy Week activities please the God of heaven and earth? What would Isaiah say of them? Or Amos? Or Hosea? Or Jesus? If God had a prophet today perhaps he would say sadly, “I’m so tired of your holy week celebrations, I wish you all would do what Jesus did.”
I’m glad that we listened to Phil Waite’s sermon on the car’s radio on the way to South Bend on Easter Sunday. Unfortunately, the video is not available. To know the goal for this series you may read the pastor’s column in that weeks newsletter. (Scroll down to find the column.) The pastor hopes the College Mennonite Church can model a discussion that will be followed by this dividing Mennonite Church USA.