Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lenten Reading


My Lent was an epic failure this year.

The reasons are inexcusable. It started during Spring Break, I was not expecting it, school was crazy, I had  a thesis blah blah blah. They aren't good excuses.

So now it is Holy Week. Palm Sunday leading towards Easter. Even when I am fasting something (anything) for Lent, this week surprises me. Like Advent, despite its best efforts to prepare me, I feel like those silly women without oil in their lamps when it comes time to celebrate.

In the last few days, I've made an attempt to do something (anything) to realign my thoughts towards this coming Sunday. I've pulled out "The Man Born to be King" by Dorothy Sayers. It is an intensely rich series of plays (radio production originally?) that she wrote about the life of Christ. My dear friend Miriam loaned me the book years ago, saying that by the final pages, it always gave her chills. C. S. Lewis noted that it was also something he read every year during Lent

After years of reading this play, I would say she suceeds in her mission. It is facinating and dynamic to see characters take on voices that run around. So much of the play are direct quotes but they come with the inbetween explanations. It helps round it out, give a different take on stories I've known since I was small.

And Judas. He is the most interesting person in the play. And the most horrible because as much as I want to identify with the gentle and trusting John, I don't. At all. I pretend that I do. But of everyone in the play, I understand and relate to Judas the most. His thoughts, his plotting, his commitment to the "Kingdom", his un acknowledged pride, his deep understanding, and his manipulability into the greatest traitor known in history. What a thing to confront on Good Friday!

In combination with reading Luke (a dramatic book in its own right), "The Man Born to Be King" is as solid a refocus of mind and heart into this week as I could conceive of in the throws of my Lenten Failure.

1 comment:

Annie said...

I have this issue that whenever people talk about things they've read it makes me jealous... like I want to read it. But then, when I actually get ahold of said reading material it goes on a pile with other stuff I wanted to read first. Anyway, you made me really want to read this. I think it's the way you relate to Judas that interests me, and makes me pretty sure I would too. Maybe at some point I will diminish my pile and cross paths with it again.