What Ardour Week Means | Christianity at this time

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For today's musical pairing, listen to "Agnus Dei", Samuel Barber's own choir arrangement of his "Adagio for Strings". Note that all of the songs for this series have been put together in a Spotify playlist here.

From this time on, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and that many things must be brought to life by the elders, the high priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed on the third day. & # 39; ”
Matthew 16:21

Meditation 13. 1,324,907 confirmed cases, 73,703 deaths worldwide.

T.The chapters of the Gospels that describe the suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are often referred to as “passion narratives”. Medieval dramatizations are called "Passion Play," and the most famous portrayal of these stories in the film is called The Passion of Christ.

When we start the Passion Week, it is worth taking a break and asking why. Why do we call these gospel accounts the “Passion” of Jesus?

Words have stories, and the story of the word passion is long and revealing. Passio is the Latin version of the Greek word pathos. For Aristotle and his followers, pathos referred to suffering or illness. It was something that was endured passively, and morally it was neither commendable nor guilty. Later, for the Stoics, the passions were more connected with longing. We are not affected by illness, but by desire. While the Aristotelian school rejected Passio to Actio (passivity to action), the Stoics rejected Passio to relationship (desire for reason). The Stoic's intention was not to patiently endure afflictions, but to rise above the desires and desires of the higher calm of reason.

In other words, suffering and longing combine in passion. You can hear the echoes of this story in words that come from pathos and passion, such as sympathy and compassion, apathy and impassability, pathological and passionate.

As the philologist Erich Auerbach explains in Literary Language and Its Public, Christian thinking goes even further when it speaks of real passions or good passions. The Christian does not try to withdraw from the longings and sufferings of the world, but rather to shape her worldly longings into longings for God and her worldly sufferings into sufferings for Christ. By entering into her own sufferings and the sufferings of others, especially those who suffer wrongly, she takes up her cross, follows Jesus and joins the community of His sufferings.

These concepts were developed centuries ago and are reflected in art and literature as well as in the devotional texts of the mystics and monks. But they touch something – the duality of suffering and longing – that we can easily understand. If we desire something in the depths of our being, don't we suffer for its absence? Or are we not longing for another world, a better world, a world in which all things are done right when we suffer something deeply? Isn't that why we are doing the deprivation of Lent so that even these little sufferings can cause and deepen our desire for God's deliverance?

It was the passionate love of God that made him enter human suffering and begin to redeem and restore the world. Countless times in the history of the Church, it was the passionate love of the Christian that made her suffer with those who suffer or want to suffer injustice, and bring hope and healing to places of pain.

There is suffering in longing and longing in suffering, and sometimes suffering is needed to awaken or reawaken our desire for justice, community and the ultimate triumph of good.

This week may be the darkest week of the pandemic for those of us in the United States. So maybe it is perfectly fitting that it is also the week of Christ's Passion, a week when God's love and God's suffering redeemed God's children and began restoring the world.

We ask you, O Lord, that you help us in our suffering to feel the deeper longing of our souls for you – and in our longing to reach the suffering world as you do it.

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The corridor through the sea

The Corridor through the Sea is a series of daily meditations by the President and CEO of Christianity Today, written specifically for those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. It will address our feeling of fear and isolation, and the way we find beauty and truth and hope – and Christ Himself – in the midst of suffering. The title of the column alludes to the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. We are a people who have been released from our slavery to sin, but we live between where we have been and where we should be. There is danger on both sides, but our hope and belief is that God will deliver us through the sea and into the land of promise.

Timothy Dalrymple is President and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_.

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