Dear Friends & Stewards of The Heritage Edition,
We have made our way through the season of Lent creating a “Margin of Grace” with help from The Saint John’s Bible. Now we are in Holy Week and today is Maundy Thursday—the day we remember Jesus’ mandate that we love one another. The intensity of the narrative is about to rise in a betrayal, a trial, and execution. After a period of silence on Saturday, new life will break forth in resurrection and the world-changing impact of an empty grave.
In short, we know how this story ends.
Like a book we have already read, a stage production that returns to Broadway, or a prequel to a movie on the silver screen, we know how this story ends. Yet, so often like Mary, we do not identify the risen Christ in our presence.
Perhaps the story has become too familiar? We have heard the story so many times that it blends and blurs into a backdrop of religiosity and the truly transformational power stripped away. Has the story we know been lost in a fog of familiarity?
Or is it that we have simply forgotten the story allowing its power over our lives to fade like photos in the family album we can’t quite make out the faces. Study after study shows that we experience most of our spiritual growth in our youth. Why is that?
There is also the possibility that we never knew the whole story much less how it ends. Even a lifetime of attending Holy Week services allows for huge gaps not only in our knowledge of the narrative, but it is full impact on our lives.
Our hope for you from the Heritage Program of The Saint John’s Bible is that you will experience this Week all anew. Whether through your own efforts to fully immerse yourself in the story or by the events in the world around us, may you be blessed in these holiest of days.
Our prayer is that The Heritage Edition will aid you and your community in bringing the Bible to life. The Bible is where the story of this week resides…and you are part of that story. As Irish poet and storyteller Padraig Ó Tuama wrote, “The answer is in the story And the story isn’t finished.” The full text of his narrative is below.
Rev. Dr. John F. Ross, Executive Director, The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Program
P.S. Special thanks to Karen Eifler of Portland University for her “Moments of Beauty” and Visio Divinas provided throughout this season of Lent—a season of MARGIN.
Narrative Theology #1
By Padraig Ó Tuama
And I said to him
Are there answers to all of this?
And he said
The answer is in a story
and the story is being told.
And I said
But there is so much pain
And she answered, plainly,
Pain will happen.
Then I said
Will I ever find meaning?
And they said
You will find meaning
Where you give meaning.
The answer is in the story
And the story isn’t finished.