Restoration

Restoration

Posted December 21, 2015:
The Heaviness of Feast Days

by a staff worker.

For some reason, I have been thinking a great deal lately about the sense of disappointment or heaviness that often seems to cloud feast days, days that should be full of light and joy. Do you ever feel this?

I think one reason for this is that the power of evil tries to compete with a celebration which centers around the worship of God.

Another reason has something to do with what we call "Christ living out his life in us," and that is basically a good thing, though often what we feel is about it is the opposite.

Recently, it has come to me as I pray and read the Scriptures that our souls bear the imprint of Christ’s life, every experience of his life.

This happens at Baptism. Christ didn’t give us only a part of himself at Baptism; he gave us his entire self, and that includes all the experiences of his life, of his great mind and heart.

I think that as we go on in life, the full meaning and reality of our Baptism unfolds.

We know something about Christ, not only with our intellects, as we read, study, and think about him, but our whole being has been united with his whole being in Baptism, and his being is like a surge of new life running through our very veins.

Perhaps like Mary, only through our baptism, we see the very Child whom she has brought forth; we know, by our own intimate relationship, who this Child is. Or, to put it another way: Christ in our souls recognizes himself, and we experience at times the leap for joy that Elizabeth felt in her womb.

Or, in a moment of utter stillness, perhaps we get a glimpse of the intense fire of love existing between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and we become so caught up in it that we cry out to God, "Don’t show me any more! This is too much for me to bear."

At such a time, we are like the Apostles on Mount Tabor—struck with awe.

And when we see out brother or sister being crucified in the many ways people crucify one another, isn’t there something excruciatingly painful that takes place in us? Isn’t this Christ suffering in us, being crucified again at the hands of his enemies?

And when, by the grace of God, we are able to forgive right on the spot some wrong that has been done to us, isn’t it Christ himself forgiving, repeating again from his cross, "Father forgive them…?"

And the heaviness of feast days? Surely it is the groaning of the Spirit of Jesus in us, the travail in which all of creation is yearning for completion.

Perhaps on these days we become acutely aware of being in unfulfilled time, even as we celebrate the fullness of time in Christ.

Perhaps this heaviness is a grace also, because we experience the longing of Christ for all of creation to become one in his Father. Yes, I think this is what the heaviness of feast days is all about.

—Excerpted and adapted from Coming Home, an anthology of Restoration articles by MH staff, Dimension Books, (1977), pp. 74-75, out of print

 

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