From the Maundy Thursday sermon. . .
Following on Palm Sunday’s reflection: If you remember nothing else from this service, remember this: Jesus’ passion teaches us what love looks like.
I read Joan Didion at West Point. Her collection of essays entitled Slouching toward Bethlehem to be specific. Of course, you’re going to read something in a literature course. However, for a youngster from rural Minnesota reading about Didion’s exposure to the counter-culture of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the 1960’s would have been strange all by itself. Place this experience alongside the trappings of the Military Academy, and I didn’t know what end was up. It was, to say the least, bizarre. Didion poignantly painted in language the chaos and culture-shock of the Haight neighborhood post-summer of love and the psychedelic predilections of so many seeking illumination. West Point was just the opposite. Stand up. Sit down. Regimented. Order. Fight, fight, fight. No illumination here, except for the spit shine on your shoes. The juxtaposition of the two–Didion’s reflections and West Point’s reality–was bewildering to say the least, and, it was the last thing that I expected.
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