Jesus was a layman with no formal training as a priest
he was at parties and in the streets
far more than at liturgy. Yet the early Church
created elaborate liturgies to worship a man
who never asked to be worshiped
only followed. Worship is easy, following is hard.
So, we took the easy road.
Circa 250 AD Christians took the road to the desert
to escape Decian persecution/corruption/decadence
of the Roman Empire. Like Moses/Elijah/Jesus
they were convinced that in the absolute silence of the desert
they could hear God speak again.
In the desert they learned for all time
that God is in the present moment, the NOW.
In our NOW, people in both individualist and collectivist societies
feel anxiety about death/non-being.
Capitalist/ego societies encourage individuals
to assert themselves against the threat of non-being
whereas communist/state societies allay anxiety
with massive military parades and rituals
signifying the collective will survive
individual non-being – being part of the collective
saves you from death.
But both the capitalist and communist credos
are heresy. In Jesus the Christ one evolves
from fragmentation and alienation
of the individual and the masses
to wholeness and integration
from nihilism and irony
to deep meaning and value
from scarcity to abundance
from self-centeredness to self-transcendence.
When capitalism and communism both fail to satisfy the soul
it humbly turns back to God and finds
“Your soul is who you are in God and who God is in you.
Nothing more, nothing less” – Richard Rohr
and taking the hard road is surprisingly easy in Christ
who said “Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy
and my burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30