My temptation was just to leave this undone this week. You know how it is, busy days being back home from a long trip, school holidays, full Holy Week schedule and I’m just tired.
And besides this coming Sunday is Low Sunday, considered by many to be a low point after Easter.
But as I contemplated this I thought ‘I should Google it and see what I could learn and here is the best definition that sums up many others for us: The Sunday following the high feast of Easter , it is also known as Quasimodo Sunday, Close Sunday or Low Easterday. ‘Low’ probably refers to the lack of high ritual used on Easter, and not to the low attendance usual on this day. The name Quasimodo Sunday comes from the Introit of the mass whihc is said on this day. In Latin it begins with the phrase Quasi Modo geniti infantes - ‘As newborn babes’. The famous character Quasimodo in Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame is said to have been found abandonded on this day, which marks the close of Easter week.
Well there you have it, not really about low church attendance at all. But rather the newness of the new Christian faith. The challenge of how do the disciples adjust to the new reality of first of all being crushed then discovering that Jesus was really alive?
As I pondered this thought it really took me to the Easter evening reading from Luke 24:13049 rather than to the readings of Low Sunday. This is the story of two men walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on that resurrection afternoon. Their complete dismay at Jesus being dead and then some women coming with a testimony of His missing body and angels appearing to them. There was also the testimony of John and Peter that the tomb was empty but somehow that still wasn’t enough.
But I love Jesus words to them in their despair as verses 25-27 that say:”Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
I so often feel this way as I study the Bible and learn more, that I am one of those slow and foolish of heart. But I pray that the later part of this story becomes my reality in that later as they took bread and Jesus broke it and blessed it they recognised who he was. Well they ran back to the upper room where the rest of the dsciples were still hiding out and told the story and their conclusion was “did not our hearts burn within us as we walked together in the way and he opened the scriptures to us?
They were those ‘Low Sunday Christians at that point, still too new, “ as newborn babes” to this resurrection thing to really get what it meant to believe all the change that this meant for their lives ahead. So as we come to ‘Low Sunday perhaps we can find ourselves as ‘Quasi modo genti infantes’ in our own faith and prepare to grow in the rest of the year.
Growing daily is my prayer.
Rev. Jon Bergen Brechin Baptist Fellowship