In the portfolio below (“Wilderness Revelations”) are meditations on all readings for the three cycles of Lent in the Episcopal Lectionary (not the newly revised lectionary, however). All files are pdf, so you will need Adobe Reader to view them. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it can be downloaded for free at http://www.adobe.com Once you have Adobe Reader, click on the link below (“Wilderness Revelations”). If the files do not automatically come up in Reader, transfer the file to your hard drive. Then, activate Adobe Reader. Under the “file” command click “open.” Then, when the list of files on your hard drive comes up, click on “Wilderness Revelations.” Everything should then come up in Reader. If you have trouble, email me and I’ll assist.
The primary difficulty that religions face is that in order to acquaint newcomers with their teachings, they must boil them down to easily understood ideas, images and rituals. Once one becomes more deeply involved with a religion, however, those very same ideas, images and rituals can begin to look simplistic, even ridiculous. That is when one must relinquish the “stuff” of those introductory elements and immerse oneself in the more ineffable aspects of religion, for the ineffable is the essence of religion.
It’s a bit like the space shuttle. In order to get off the surface of the earth, the shuttle needs powerful booster rockets. At a certain point in its ascent, those boosters must be jettisoned or their weight will drag the shuttle back to earth. Think of the basic tenets of religion as those booster rockets. They get us launched, but if we do not jettison them, we end up where we began. Timing is critical: to jettison them too early produces the same result as jettisoning them too late. The means by which we discover the exact timing (which, incidentally, is a recurring event in our religious lives) is called formation.