Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Coming in Lent: The Cross in the 1st and 21st Centuries

The weeks of Lent culminate in Holy Week and Easter—stories of life, death, hope and struggle which are at the heart of our Christian faith. The context of those stories—Jerusalem in Jesus’ time—was a violent and volatile political setting that is vastly different from life as we know it in the United States in 2009. How do we understand the stories of our faith in peacetime and in a culture where Christianity is culturally understood to be the religion of the land?

To get a sense of the dangers of life in wartime today, we will be reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (2007). Written by the author of The Kite Runner, the story is set in Afghanistan and tells a story of family and community life through the experience of two women whose lives intersect as both struggle to survive in a culture which must endure one war after another.

With Karen King’s help, we will look at how suffering and dying has been regarded in the Christian tradition. What might it mean for us to “take up our cross and follow”? We’ll look at the variety of ways in which “resurrection” is understood, with a particular focus on early Christianity. We will ask what it means for us today.

Finally, we will take a look at the Holy Week narrative itself. Who are the major players? Are there really any “bad guys” or is it the tragic account of many different people each struggling in wartime to make the best and most faithful decisions they could?

Our Thursday evening meetings will be from 7:30 – 9 p.m. Child-care will be provided.

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