The feature Hugh’s Journals appears here each Sunday. For some basic background on Rev. Hugh Bebb Jones and his notebooks click here.
Hugh’s notebooks contain pages with long excerpts from a single source and other pages that have multiple quotes from quite different sources. Sometimes the relationships between the quotes on those pages is quite obvious. Sometimes those relationships are not quite so clear.
Today is Palm Sunday. The beginning of Holy Week. The cultural vestiges of Holy Week are for the most part greatly diminished now in our large urban centers. A number of businesses are open now on Easter. Good Friday is no longer a universally recognized “holiday” either.
That was not the case during most of Hugh’s life and ministry as a Presbyterian pastor in South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota. In his time, Holy Week was a cultural and religious “time” quite different from what it has become today. It is difficult not to think that we have lost far more in this area than we have gained.
As I read Hugh’s journals, thoughts about the kind of church and culture and world he lived in and preached in are always in the back of my mind… even while I am trying to think about what the relevance of what he excerpted may now be in today’s contemporary church and culture and world.
Today’s page of three quotes about saints and saintliness is one that remains quite relevant to our contemporary situation. Their messages certainly address concerns as urgent as when Hugh first used them in sermons in 1949, 1949… and then again in 1962.
Think of the many ways the world has change just in the 50 years since 1962. And think of how little we as humans have changed in all that time. We remain a world in need of salvation… a people in need of saints and hope.
On this Palm Sunday of 2012, these three excerpts from Hugh’s notebooks seem as important for us to hear as Hugh felt they once were for his congregations.