God is not angry with you.

Todays Scripture: Matt 21:1 – 46

So it begins, the most Holy of weeks. A week that is set apart. A week that is whole. A week that has ultimate glory as its destination. Within this week the whole of time is contained. The beginning and the end is present in the Now. The eternal touches time. The Divine cloth Itself with the human body and blesses it (I lack the language to correctly express this great mystery so excuse my inadequate language). The Light of Christ shines upon the things that has been hiding in darkness and He exposes it. He faces it and eventually He “outshines” it.

To me salvation is not so much about “letting Christ take away my sin and God sacrificing His Son because He needs His anger to be satisfied”, salvation is not about substitutionary atonement. For me salvation becomes the re-joining with and into Christ. It becomes recognizing Christ for what He Is. When we see Christ for what He truly Is, salvation is a natural consequence. Because it is only Him working within us that can reveal His true identity. The Word reveals the Word both in Scripture and in the Sacraments. Sometimes we have this wrong notion that our Father is an angry God Whos wrath needs to satisfied by sacrifice. This notion is not very beneficial from a soteriological point. Because this notion does not transmit the ultimate Truth of Who God is. God is not angry with us but with sin. He is angry with the way we fail to be truly human. How we miss the mark and goal of what it means to be created in the image of Him. He is not so much angry with us as with our inability to bear good fruit. Maybe this is why He curses the tree in the gospel today. Maybe punishment is required for the tree to find its roots again. If God was angry with us He would not have entered the world as a servant. He would have come with the whip. Instead He is being whipped.

No, the message of Holy week is that God loves you. And He is prepared to show how Love operates so that you will understand both with heart and mind. He breaks His body and sheds His blood for you, ever eaten He is never consumed, making Holy (whole) those who in faith receive Him. For what and where would we be without food and drink? What and where would we be without nutrition for our souls and bodies? We would be like the cursed tree without fruit. We would be nothing. We would be lifeless. Christ gives life to all. He gives growing power (or withholds it) to all fields and all trees. Yes, the Eucharist is set apart as the chief symbol for all of creation to gather around but make no mistake, He is sustaining life or withholding it from all the food and drink we consume.

Holy week contains services of presanctified Eucharist to remind us of that all of creation has been blessed and presanctified by Christ. Trough Him we once again see that everything was (and still is) created good.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob

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