On Passion Sunday you have to ask, "Am I led by a Saint?"
Updated: Apr 1
On April 2, 2023, Episcopalians and their Anglican-Universal (Catholic) brethren and sisteren will file into a church for what is called Passion Sunday. The 'Passion Play' addresses the final week of human Jesus' life.
An elaborate reenactment, only possible in churches with lots of paying customers.
In a three-year liturgical cycle, the audience (not actually a congregation of disciples) will be given 'scripts' to read aloud (begged, as many times it comes down to that, seeking to find enough voices to participate as actors in this play), when their character's lines come up. The reason so many turn down this role is each of the three "Passion Sundays" means following along as more than a chapter of divine text (English translations thereof) is read aloud; and, most Sunday dozers have to be nudged when they begin to snore after much less is read aloud by one person at a podium, on any other Sunday. On April 2, 2023 the reading selected will be (for all the brave of hearts that don't have tee times at noon) from Matthew's Gospel, beginning at chapter 26, verse 14 and going until chapter 27, verse 66.
For those keeping count (as in a Word count), that is 2,682 words read aloud. A long Gospel reading for a typical Sunday would be well under that figure, by more than two thousand words (if not more).
This is where the 'Passion Play' becomes a truthful reenactment of the flogging and crucifixion of Jesus, because after an hour of reading so much, with people in the pews asked to stand up and say the lines of their character, who wants to stay around for the rest of that Sunday and have someone explain the divinity of those words read aloud?
More on that later.
In my history as an Episcopalian, I had one of the laziest priests at the church my wife and I attended (I attended as her husband, as well as an adopted Episcopalian). Each Passion Sunday (years A, B, & C) he reenacted the same sermon, each year flogging Jesus and hanging him on a tree, presenting Jesus as a liar (not the King of the Jews) and deserving to hang dying, as people would parade by and shout insults at him. Every Passion Sunday this poor excuse for a priest would tell the personal story of his being in seminary, where his homiletics' professor taught, "Some times less said is better than trying to say too much." At that lame excuse for a point, he would then say, "I will let the words speak for themselves. So, take a few moments to digest what was just read."
If a church is led by some organization employee, one who knows nothing of value about the truth of Scripture, then that church is nothing more than a bunch of people gathering, so they can pretend to be Christians. If a Saint is not the one standing up to address the rabble, after almost two chapters of divine text has been read aloud - To explain what all that means!!! - then the actors (pretenders) might as well skip the church thing and go directly to the clubhouse at the golf course and ask the bartender there, "Do you know anything about the Passion Play?"
The pretense of Christianity (especially those one-time on Sunday denominations, where getting all dressed up for an hour of church, then the hour at the all-you-can-eat-buffet afterwards) is nobody has time to sit and listen to a Saint - a human reborn in the name of Jesus (a Christ resurrected) - for hours on end. Some fool will always raise his or her hand and tell a Saint (Jesus in someone else's body), "I think it is sometimes better to say less than more. Don't you agree?"
The original flood of true Christianity was due to the true purpose of a Saint being to teach the meaning of Scripture, so those who read it and could not makes heads or tails about it could have their hearts opened to receive the Word AND ALSO BECOME SAINTS!!! When a priest-pastor-minister-preacher leaves a church and goes to greener pastures, it is so some newby, wet-behind the ears seminarian can come in and practice reading prepared sermons that are lame and worthless. New priests, right out of seminary, cannot teach the meaning of Scripture. No seminary on earth teaches disciples how to become Saints. So, what is now called Christianity is just a bunch of blind people leading other blind people into the pit. ["Look out Satan, here we come!"]
Being Christian is not like those places years ago (way back in the 1950's and 1960's), where stamps were given at the grocery store, based on how much money your mother spent. The promise was: If you save a million books filled with grocery stamps, then you can redeem them at some store, maybe cashing them in for a new car. When a soul parts from its body of flesh it goes directly to stand naked and afraid before Yahweh, there are no books of stamps accompanying one's soul there. The promise of salvation based on how many years you paid into some church 'capital campaign' is rarely (if ever) fulfilled; but the same principle sure made a lot of grocery stores busy selling groceries back in the day, with the illusion of getting stamps only as meaningful as a pipe dream.
That day when books of stamps get redeemed is metaphor for Judgment Day, which all humans will face. No books of stamps are awarded for being a "cradle-to-grave" Episcopalian (or any other denomination); so, a soul removed from its dead flesh will be holding zero credits in their invisible hands. If one's soul shows up having not been reborn in the name of Jesus, then Yahweh will say, "I do not know you." So, telling Yahweh, "I have heard every reading in the Bible and even played several roles in years of Passion Plays. Doesn't that count for anything?" isn't going to get one a new car (eternal entrance into Yahweh's heavenly kingdom).
"Who did you preach to as Jesus resurrected in the flesh?" Yahweh will ask.
Be happy if Yahweh allows your soul to come back and try again; so, however many years you lived collecting 'Christian points' will hopefully lead that soul being allowed to seek sainthood as a reincarnated soul in new baby flesh. Think of this like a first grader being told, "You are a second grader now!"
To reach the goal of redemption and salvation means knowing precisely what Jesus felt that last week of his life in the flesh. Until you know what being flogged represents, along with being nailed to an old rugged cross, dying, as others come cast insults at you, then you will not know what the life of a Saint means. One has to die of self and face the ridicule of family and friends screaming, "Stop trying to be Jesus! Only Jesus can be Jesus!"
Still, you accept betrayal. You accept unfair punishment. And, you accept dying of self-ego, in order to serve Yahweh as His Son resurrected within, as one's true Lord. You become (regardless of human gender) a submissive wife of Yahweh, ready-willing-and able to conceive His Son's soul reborn into your flesh. One's soul-body becomes the Virgin Mother of Yahweh's Son; and, that day becomes that soul's Christmas Day. One is a Christ [Anointed One] of Yahweh, because only a Christ can be reborn as the Son of Yahweh, in the body of man [gender non-specific].
To reach that goal, then one has to be willing to stand at the end of a Passion Sunday service and tell the false shepherd presenting his or her same lame sermon, "Saying less about Scripture is never better than saying more. I say let's all stay here into the dark of night, explaining what was just read aloud. Who's with me?"
The answer to that question comes from Jesus saying, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20, NIV) Jesus (who spoke what the Father led him to say) meant what he said. When he said "two or three in my name, with me there in each as their individual soul's Lord," two or three makes a small congregation, one incapable of hiring some hand to give lame sermons, much less build some fancy cathedral to house hired hands. If you find yourself and two others saying along with you, "Add me in!"... wanting to study Scripture for more than an hour ….
Well, now you know why Jesus was not crucified alone. You must hang on a cross with Jesus. The question is are you led by a Saint to be the sinner who begs for forgiveness? Or, will you be the fool that casts insults at Jesus, knowing the mortality of human life does nothing to kill a soul within a corpse. Can you see your soul naked and afraid before Yahweh in Judgment … before you know your life will soon be over?