Wonder Boi Writes

Holy Week

So this is the once a year blog where I get ultra spiritual. I usually stick to book stuff here, but my faith is a central part of my life.  I wouldn’t be me without it, especially right now. I get that some of you don’t feel the same way about spirituality, and you don’t love to hear about mine either. If you’re one of those people please stop reading now.  One of the most powerful aspects of my faith is my solid belief in free will and I will never condemn anyone for choosing a  different path any more than I will be pushed into abandoning mine.  If, on the other hand, you are someone who wrestles with the mysteries and the teachings like I do, please read on.

I’ve spent the last 40 days trying to prepare myself for Holy Week and Easter.  This Lent I gave up credit cards in an attempt to focus on being thankful for what I have in my life instead of coveting things that are out of my reach at the moment.  I also spent an hour technology free every day where my family and I turned off the T.V./Computers/Phones etc and spent some quality time talking and playing with one another.  Both of the disciplines went really well and  put me in a better place than I was on Ash Wednesday in both areas of my life I set out to alter. I have also worked hard to study the entire Gospel of Matthew. Surprisingly, this had been a bigger challenge than anything I’ve done in quite awhile as I’m finding it to be the hardest Gospel.

I’m realizing I’ve glossed over a lot of Jesus’s sharper edges in favor of the ‘Sermon On The Mount” Jesus.  I’ve always focused on the ‘love your neighbor’ Jesus, and don’t get me wrong that too is revolutionarily challenging at times, but I’d skimmed past the parts where Jesus doesn’t let people off the hook. I’d conveniently forgotten all the times Jesus expresses anger and frustration at people who don’t listen, at people who hold on to earth when they should look to heaven, at people who put their own desires above their responsibility to their Creator.  I think I’m a pretty good person, but I find when I really read the book of Matthew I’m coming up short in more ways than I care to admit, and that’s not fun reading.  It’s not comforting, it asks me to let go of thing I want to hold tightly to, and it doesn’t tell me it’ll all be okay if I don’t.  I spent more than a few nights over the last few weeks shifting in my seat uneasily as I realize just how often I take the easy way out, or make excuses when I am really being called to radically reexamine the very foundations of my life. I didn’t want to do that work. I like my life just fine, thank you very much. Or at least I did.

You see, as with the story of Holy Week itself everything in my personal journey that started off so nice and clean and happy last Sunday had devolved into a mess of fear and anger and sadness as my week has gone on.  I won’t go into details because ultimately they aren’t important here.  What matters is that I, like the disciples, feel tired and confused and unworthy in the Gethsemane.  Like Peter I want to protest that I will not fall away, that I will stay this course and walk the path God sets before me, but honestly I don’t even know where the path is right now.  I have no idea what is coming and the night that just begun already seems so long. I ache for rest, for peace, for the familiar, for the miracles. I want to lash out. I want to be strong. I want to cry. I want to draw my sword and fight. I want to run. I want to many things for so many reasons. Mostly though I want to know what is up ahead and what I am supposed to do about it.

Those answers aren’t coming though. Not right now anyway. Not this night. Not tomorrow either.  There will be no resurrection until there is first a death.  This is not the easy road into Jerusalem.  This is not Palm Sunday. This is not the Passover. This cup will not pass.

This is the part of the story where Jesus finishes the work He started, as dark and sad and terrifying as it may be, because only He can see the other side.  I am helpless except to pray that in my confusion, hurt, and uncertainty I remain lost enough to let myself me led through the darkness.  This is not an easy time, but if my study of the gospel of Matthew has taught me anything over the last six weeks it’s that this is not an easy faith.

It’s funny how that works out, isn’t it?  The message I’d struggled against all Lent long is the one I need  most right now. It’s almost as if there was a plan in place long before I knew I needed it. Even in the dark Gethsemane there’s evidence that while I must walk the coming path full of fear and sadness, I do not have to walk it alone.

This is one of my favorite songs on all time, it’s complex and emotional, and perfectly fitting for this week both in my life and in my faith. I hope is resonates with some of you as well.

 

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April 17, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Well said, Rachel. Your faith, courage and character will help you through this challenging week. In your darkest hour be comforted knowing that He is with you. Always.

    Comment by canuckevg | April 17, 2014 | Reply

  2. I don’t know what you’re going through, but appreciate your sharing your faith and will keep you in prayer. God bless you.

    Comment by Kelly | April 23, 2014 | Reply


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