Friday, April 22, 2011

"Breaching the Veil" by Alan Kregness

 Yesterday I shared the short reading "The Garden Prayer" that Alan Kregness prepared for our church as our pastor shared several sermons about Easter over the past couple of Sundays. Today, I share the second reading he wrote.

If you live in the Twin Cities area and are desiring to learn more about Christ Jesus, please feel welcome to come to First Baptist's Good Friday service this evening at 6:00 PM. Click HERE for driving direction.

He had heard stories from the ancient high priest. Beyond the massive curtain lay the Holy
of Holies, the very dwelling of Yahweh, though he dared not utter the name. The old man spoke in
hushed tones of breaching the curtain and of light, thick and tangible, pouring into the Holy Place.
He whispered about seeing fire and thunder and a pillar of cloud forever billowing in on itself.

Although the young priest had occasional doubts about some of the stories, he always
maintained a distance from the curtain. He may have doubted the stories, but he did not doubt The
One who resided beyond the veil. On most days he even avoided eye contact with it if possible.

Today, the young priest stood motionless, his eyes locked on the wall opposite the curtain.
What had begun as a minimal dot was now a pillar of white radiance. He stole a furtive glance at
the curtain. It was closed, protecting him from The Divine Presence. His shuffling feet were now
silent, and in the distance he could hear the crowd, restless upon the hill. Darkness had crept over
the city only a few hours ago, a midnight in the afternoon.

Another noise rose above the din of the mob. It was nearer, quieter. A whisper. A surge of
water. The sound crawled through his skin, from his fingertips to his head and lodged itself behind
his eyes, buzzing . His heart beat fiercely in his chest, and yet his breath was slow. Peace and fear
waged war in his heart.

A moment passed, and the sound dissipated, but his breath and blood still pounded in his
ears. He dared not turn, his trembling hand seemingly the only motion on earth.

All at once the sound came roaring back. The surge had become a flood, the whispers
became trumpets, a thunder in his breast.

The priest looked up at the pillar of light as it flared with white fire and cut a swath down
the wall. Turning away from it, he recalled the words of the Torah: “Jehovah Elohim is a
consuming fire.”

The young priest felt a weight on his shoulders, infinite as the heavens; his knees buckled,
and he fell, palms spread, his face to the ground.

The pillar of fire swirled and engulfed the room. He felt heat like never before on his back
and even on his face, though it was pressed against the cool stone, and yet he felt no pain. He was
brimming with a desire to shout, to run; yet he could not move, could not speak, could only weep as
joy and awe flooded his spirit.

A great wind roared through the temple as its foundations shook, and the heat receded like a
tide from the priest's body.

And then, silence.

The temple door was flung open. The young priest was on his knees, rocking slowly back
and forth. Before him the grand curtain was torn to its base. Beyond, the Holy of Holies lay bare.

Short bio for Alan: 
"I was birthed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on the 21st of January, 1987. The minute I was born there was a power outage at the hospital, and if I were superstitious I'd say that signaled either the genesis of a life of mythic proportions, or that my life would consist of the worst possible moments back-to-back. I attended K through 12 at a hybrid American/Brazilian high school, and I owe most of my love for writing to two of my teachers there. College involved me going: 'Huh. Well, I like to write. Look, an English - Writing major!' I'm currently employed at The Toro Co., and write creative fiction/slightly fictional non-fiction on the side. Hopefully, that will change at some point."

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