Holy Tuesday 2019 Meditation
Tuesday of Holy Week 2019
Read: Psalm 71:1-14
In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
The magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral burned yesterday. Its foundation was laid in 1163, during the reign of King Louis VII. It was completed in 1345. Today its historic spire, a beacon to Christian pilgrims for centuries, is gone, as is its roof. Other damage to this center of worship for Roman Catholics in France and for millions of others from many Christian denominations, as well as others who travel there each year, continues to be assessed. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters for whom Notre Dame is their home church. Let us pray for the Roman Catholic Church around the world as it grieves this loss. And let us pray for Pope Francis and for the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Christian Alain Aupetit, as they lead the effort to restore the Notre Dame Cathedral for the glory of God.
As I think of and pray for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in the midst of this tragic fire and its impact, I am reminded of the fact that there are United Methodists who because of the 2019 General Conference are feeling as if their
church is burning as well. Whether progressive, centrist, or traditionalist, persons have shared with me how they feel that the church they know and love is on fire. There are those who are so very upset with the decisions of the General Conference that they
would like to set The United Methodist Church on fire. There are also those who yearn for the fire of the Holy Spirit to set The United Methodist Church ablaze with a renewed movement spirit. Then there are those who just feel a deep anxiety about what of their beloved church will be left standing, after the fires of the many conversations and strategizing efforts about how we shall move forward, that consume our church at this moment.
As we join our hearts in prayer this Holy Week, let us remember that the true Church is not the building, as magnificent as we may have built it. The true Church is the body of Christ in whom we find our life and our future. With the Psalmist let us remember that God is our Rock and our Fortress. This Holy Week, let us make hearing the voice of Jesus our Lord, Head of the Church, and hearing the voice of God our Rock and our Fortress, our priority.
I believe that what we United Methodists are experiencing is a season of change and even transformation. I also believe that the heat we feel is the very breath of the Holy Spirit blowing upon us with the faithfulness of God. Let us trust our God to lead us in the rebuilding of The United Methodist Church. May God be the mighty help that our friends in Christian ministry called upon to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral experience as well.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño