Holy Week: Recalling His Path… and Ours

Strikes me as I stand at the beginning of another Holy Week: the ways that these days can symbolize stage of faith discussions I have been about in various settings.

      • With the excitement of the crowd, Palm Sunday can mirror many of the feelings that surround initial awakenings to the faith.  We do not fully comprehend or understand what Jesus Christ is all about, but we love what we have heard or think we know.  And, we welcome Him into our Jerusalem.

      • We follow Him in first days of teaching and instruction around the temple.  (Holy Thursday) We find ourselves at table with Him. (Holy Thursday)  We follow Him in times of retreat and prayer.    Emotions fade a little.  There might be some weariness.  It’s hard to stay awake for prayers. Questions grow – as does the mystery of who He is and what He’s talking about.  “What’s all this talk of suffering and dying… and something coming three days later?”  Yes, these are the days of emerging discipleship—learning and having to put up with the not arriving.

      • Then, Friday… and Saturday.  Dark Night of the Soul—for Him, for us.  The pain.  The dying.  The isolation.  The tomb.  Into Saturday, we descend into hell.  It’s frightening and suffocating behind closed doors.  And now, the questions really rage: “Where’s God now?,” “How could we have wasted those years?,” “Did we really hear Him correctly?,” “How could He—how could we—have been so misguided?,” “What do we do now—where do we go from here?” These are the questions that surround disorientation and deconstruction.

      • But, Sunday is coming!  Empty tomb.  Risen Lord.  Butterflies emerging and soaring!  Hugging, dancing, shouting, singing!  Community reborn and reinvigorated!  Eyes opened.  Hearts warmed.  Reunion… and the promise of still more (beyond what we can ask, think, or imagine)!

If you will allow this week and these stops along the way to be metaphors for our common journeys, all sorts of questions rise up…

      • What have been the Palm Sundays in your life?  (Yes, we can have more than one!)  When have you celebrated Jesus coming into your life and living?

      • What are the mysteries and the confusions that Jesus is stirring in your life?  What are the mysteries and confusions that life is stirring about your Jesus?  Do we give these questions sufficient space and time—to really be engaged?  Or, do we push them aside as too unsettling, too difficult, too much of a distraction from the business and busyness of our lives and living?

      • When have you experienced Good Friday—the Dark Night of the Soul, the Wall (as Janet Hagberg calls it)?  Oh, not just a hard time.  But, a time of breakdown and disconnection (from all that you previously counted on), a time of felt abandonment and disorientation, a time when God felt dead or gone?

      • When have you encountered Easter—new life, new living, Jesus as He really is (and not as he first was), reunion, deeper-fuller love and joy and peace and kindness and…

Is it any wonder, then, that this pageant has emerged and been formalized over the years… and that we invariably find our ways back to some sort of observance?  For here, in these days, is not just a commemoration of Jesus’ walk on our behalf but a reenactment of our ongoing journeys of faith with and in Him.

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