November 1st, 2006

HTOC

Lifting Up

I found myself in the midst of a moderate amount of angst and depression the other evening. As no distraction seemed appealing or even possible, I sat down on my bed and focused on the nagging chaos that danced about my heart and mind. I realized that if there was a place to be - a place of healing - it was in a sanctuary, during liturgy. I pictured the vested minister, raising the elements high above his head, and as Christ was lifted up I knew that I too would be lifted up with him.

There is a lifting up, an exaltation in the liturgy that pulls a person out of himself and ushers him into the throne room of the Father. It is a salvation, a liberty from man's own inward and downward pull. At the little entrance the Gospel book is elevated in the hands of the priest and proceeds about the room - always above our heads. The Gospel is then proclaimed, shouted from the rooftops, if you will. What we experience here is not the gazing down of the head to study, but the lifting up of the head to receive the One Who Is To Come. It is the necessary cry of good news.

Likewise, the elements of Holy Communion are lifted high, presented to God.  The Son is offered up and we are offered up in the Son.  For in baptism the Father made us little Christs, and we offer ourselves in the Son because our identities are no longer viable apart from his.  The Father accepts the Son, and in his Son, he accepts us.  "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me", lifting us up with him as well.  We need only recognize our unity with the Son of God, a unity most severe.