Models

“From the smooth, suave opening to the balls-to-the-wall dancing once the horn section kicks in, Busty and the Bass’s newest song, “Models,” is a solid party jam. The video, premiering today, flips back and forth between commentary on social media perception and scenes of reckless abandon, sans smartphones. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, the Montreal band — and Rock Your Campus winners — clearly want you to party.” –Holly Gordon

The Lord’s Supper

Scripture: Luke 22:14-20
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

THE LORD’S SUPPER

As pilgrims on a Lenten journey we know that darkness will soon descend on the events we are following. When they do, we know our meditations will quickly plunge into the deepest, most wrenching stage of our pilgrimage. That is just around the corner, we know it. In the back of our minds we resist the yawning tunnel of the encroaching dread we must pass through before Resurrection Sunday. We’re not going to descend into that blackness today—that’s for tomorrow and the days ahead. Today, we pause and steady ourselves before we step over the edge, by sitting with Jesus at his Passover table.

Dali’s Sacrament of the Last Supper is beautiful in its serenity. Just below the vanishing line in the center of the painting are Jesus’ loving eyes, the exact spot where our eyes are naturally drawn. Jesus’ left hand is making a self-referential, self-explaining gesture as his fingers curl toward his chest and heart. This is a gesture we’ve made thousands of times ourselves, and comfortably recognize it in our friends and family members when they tell stories around the kitchen table. With his right hand Jesus is pointing towards the heavens. Try this gesture yourself; see how familiar it feels.

Now look at the disciples’ posture: every head is bowed, reverent, and peaceful. All are listening to Jesus’ comforting voice. I suspect the words were perplexing. But I have no doubt the voice was reassuring, and that helped the disciples to hold onto the words until they could fully understand their meaning. Remember me … my body broken … my blood poured out … a new covenant.

We know the story, so we know the serenity in Dali’s scene is about to end. In real time Jesus knew it too. This was the tranquility before the whirlwind came crashing in. It was Jesus’ moment of opportunity to give his disciples—and the communities who would follow him down through history—a practice that could sustain them for the journey of faith. It would give them an occasion to refocus, renew their strength through remembrance, and provide a place to calm the storm. But what was essential? What did Jesus’ followers have to remember about him above all else?

Jesus gave us the rite we needed. It’s very simple, yet deeply profound. It’s a twist on the Passover ritual that he joyously anticipated commemorating with his disciples. It is bread, broken, that reminds us of his broken body. We eat a morsel, and as we receive it—smell it, chew it, swallow it—we remember Jesus. It’s a tactile act that’s soaked in meaning, and we are moved. It is a sip of wine poured from a cup. We remember what we need in that moment too, his blood shed for us. We look at the others doing the same, and we feel our brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. We are nourished by our eating, drinking, remembering, the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the fellowship of the saints.

Holy communion is a gift from Jesus’ hand. Through it we remember him, and when we get up from the communion table we are ready to go forth and be His people.

PRAYER
Thank you Jesus for knowing that we would need Holy Communion.
Thank you for lovingly providing us with it.
Thank you for meeting us through it.
Amen.

 

–From The Lent Project, by the Biola University Centre for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts. Link: http://ccca.biola.edu/lent/2015/#day-mar-30

Socha

Socha: The Hidden Vulnerability of Others

It’s the kind of basic human vulnerability that we’d all find familiar, but is still somehow surprising when we notice it in others. It’s an open question why we have such public confidence, and such private doubts.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I arise today
through a mighty strength
the invocation of the Trinity
through belief in Threeness
through confession of Oneness of the creator of creation

I arise today
to the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism
to the strength of his crucifixion with his burial
to the strength of his resurrection with his ascension
to the strength of his descent for the judgment of doom

I arise today
to the strength of the love of cherubim and the obedience of angels
in the service of archangels
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward
in prayers of patriarchs
in perdition to prophets
in preaching of apostles
in faith of confessors
in innocence of holy virgins
in deeds of righteous men

I arise today
to the strength of heaven
the light of sun
the radiance of moon
splendour of fire
speed of lightning
swiftness of wind and depth of sea
stability of earth and firmness of rock

I arise today
to God’s strength to pilot me
God’s might to uphold me
God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s eye to look before me
God’s ear to hear me
God’s word to speak to me
God’s hand to guide me
God’s way to lie before me
God’s shield to protect me
God’s host to save me
from snares of devils
from temptations of vices
from everyone who shall wish me ill
afar and near
alone and in multitude

I summon today
all these powers between me and those evils
against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppress my body and soul
against incantations of false prophets
against black laws of pagandom
against false laws of heretics
against the craft of idolatry
against spells of witches and spirits and wizards
against every knowledge that corrupts body and soul

Christ has sealed me today
against poison
against burning
against drowning
against wounding
so that there may come to me abundance and reward

Christ with me
Christ before me
Christ behind me
Christ in me
Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ on my right
Christ on my left
Christ when I lie down
Christ when I sit down
Christ when I arise
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me

We arise today
through a mighty strength
the invocation of the Trinity
through belief in Threeness
through confession of the Onenness of the Creator of creation
Praise the Lord!

Pursue

I close my eyes to see
The King in majesty
Your grace compels my soul
To love and draw in close

I lift my hands and sing
Surrender everything
In you I know I’ve found
My God to you abound

Now until forever
Jesus I surrender
Show me what I don’t know
More of you

I’m desperate for your presence
Longing to be with you
Lead me to a new place
More of you

Through the fire I’ll persevere
I won’t submit to any fear
Where I go, you’ve been before
All my trust is in you Lord

Now until forever
Jesus I surrender
Show me what I don’t know
More of you

I’m desperate for your presence
Longing to be with you
Lead me to a new place
More of you

Lead me to you, forever Lord I will Pursue, I will pursue
You’ve won my heart, Jesus your all that I want, all that I want

Now into forever
Jesus I surrender
Show me what I don’t know
More of you

I’m desperate for your presence
Longing to be with you
Lead me to a new place
More of you

Open my eyes let me see more of your love, more of your love
Here I will wait just for a glimpse of you God, I’ll wait for you God

Opia

“opia – n. the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable–their pupils glittering, bottomless and opaque–as if you were peering through a hole in the door of a house, able to tell that there’s someone standing there, but unable to tell if you’re looking in or looking out.

ETYMOLOGY
From Ancient Greek opia, plural of “opium” + opia, “of the eyes.” Thus, eye contact is the opiates of the eyes. Sure it’s quite a trip, but what does it really reveal?

COMMENTARY
One thing I find fascinating about eye contact is how utterly mutual it is. In order to get access to someone’s eyes you have to expose your own at exactly the same time. Like poker. You lock eyes across a party, and ante up in order to play. “I see your sublimated frustration at being out of place, and raise you an empathic nod.” “I see your flirtatious glance, and raise you a tension-diffusing comedic eyebrow wiggle.” You push your chips forward, then you show your cards.

Eye contact is such a delicate and dangerous art. Even holding it a half-second too long can radically change its meaning, like a wayward brushstroke on a painting that can radically shift an expression from dismissive to neutral, or from flirty to wary to sardonic, or from suspicious to threatening to seductive to unspoken bond to wordless gratitude then back around to murderous.

Like a lot of introverted people, I’m a very cautious practitioner of the art of expression. Too afraid of ruining the painting to use any bold strokes. You know when you’re standing between two mirrors, which send reflections stretching out into an endless tunnel in front of you—except you can’t see the vanishing point because your head is in the way? That’s how I feel all the time. I want to look into people’s eyes, but I’d prefer to be invisible while doing it. Conclusion: the invention of sunglasses was the first crack in the breakdown of our social bonds.

By definition, a glance literally means “a slip,” specifically “a slip on the ice.” A glancing blow. A near miss, indirect at best.

The final line “So we’re all just exchanging glances, trying to tell each other who we are” is deliberately vague. You are trying to tell others who you are, but you’re also trying to hint to them who they are. That sort of external identity reinforcement sounds weak and self-conscious, but damned if it isn’t true. Perhaps a more fitting card game metaphor is Indian poker, in which everyone can see your card but you. So you have to watch their faces for cues. Without them, your identity will feed back on itself, rounding up into grandiosity or down into depression, and you go crazy.“

Birmingham

Your love is relentless
And I’m glad for it, I’m glad for it
Your love is relentless
I am glad

Your love is relentless
And if not for it, if not for it
I’d perish for sure
If not for it

Savior for the faithful
We’re in the hands of God

Love has come
And we are safe
Hope has come
And we are safe

We’re in the hands of God
We’re in the hands of God