Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I hate Holy Week

Between the palm branches last Sunday and the Easter lilies coming up, I tend to focus less on holiness and more on remembering my Zyrtec this time of year.  I don't like holy week.  I don't like all the drama that sends the Savior of the people down a scary, lonely path to a Father forgotten cross and into a common tomb alone before we get to party.  

I don't like Jesus praying alone in the garden without the support of his friends.

I don't like Judas and Peter acting stupid when Jesus needs them most.

I don't like the King of Kings standing before Pilate having to defend Himself when HE is the Truth.

I don't like the depiction of Mary in The Passion movie where tears run down her face as her son passes bloody and torn struggling to carry the weight of the cross and the sins of the world.

I don't like that the other thief on the cross doesn't choose Christ in what has to be the best evangelism scenario of all time.

I don't like that Jesus felt forgotten by the Father.  That on the worst, most painful, agonizing day of his life, he had to walk alone.  

I don't like the body of the Son of God, the body that healed the sick with a touch of his hand, that called Lazarus from the dead with human lungs, and that used ordinary muscles to draw a line in the sand, got put in a tomb like a lot of other people that died that day.

What can I say?  I don't like the story until he rises again.  It's not triumphant until the tomb is empty and Peter is reassured and Jesus is back with the Father.

I don't like that he had to die.  And I don't like that I'm responsible.  So there.

But, I'll walk this Holy Week with joyful anticipation of that first light of Easter.  I'll rejoice when the tomb is empty.  I will.  But, until then, I'll walk with Jesus through the garden, down the road, to the cross, and into the empty tomb.  I'll thank him that long before I took my first breath, he took his last on Earth.  For me.  

He paid for the sins he didn't commit so I could be free.  He fulfilled his life knowing it would matter to every single life that would come after his.  Including mine.  He felt alone and abandoned so I would never, ever have to.  

For that and so much more, I'm forever grateful.  Especially during Holy Week.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


"Chicken or steak?" she asked from across my living room.

"What?"  I asked.

"Chicken or steak!  Would Jesus eat chicken or steak?" she asked again.

I rolled my eyes.

"Fish.  Jesus would eat fish and he probably shared it," I insisted.

She thought for a minute before she said, "You don't know that."

It was one of those deeply spiritual moments that keep some people out of Hell and lead others closer to Christ.  Life changing for sure.  Obviously.  

But, it's actually just the kind of discussion I live to have.  

It may not be important what he had, but it matters to me that Jesus ate lunch.  I like the thought that right after he got heartburn, he ran to John the Baptist and told him he knew locusts were a bad idea.  I like that maybe a mosquito bit him one day and he had a private chat with the Father about his decisions at creation.  I feel certain he got tired of walking the same dusty roads in not very comfortable sandals with people who had to occasionally drive him crazy.  And I wonder in those moments if he closed his eyes and remembered how it felt to walk and dance on streets of gold in the ever available presence of his Father.

Maybe his heart skipped a beat as he thought, "I'm here for a little while, but soon I'm going Home."

Did he question his calling?  Probably not.  Did he have some bad days, some fearful times, and loneliness?  Absolutely.  Anyone would feel like that where they don't truly belong.

More than anything, while he was here, he loved.  He did the work the Father gave him wherever he found himself.  Dealing with hard headed disciples, comforting a woman at the well, raising a child from the dead, spinning a hyper kid around telling him, "God loves you!" holding a single rose afraid of what those thorns would mean, weeping tears of blood in the garden, forgiving those that murdered him with his very last breath, and listening from a better place when the veil was torn.  

I can almost hear him shouting to those people, to all who would come after, and to you, and to me, "You have access to my Father now!  Go.  Do what he has for you.  Soon you'll be Home, too."

And if I'm very still and very quiet, I can hear him whisper those things to my own heart.  

The Creator of the universe, the One who is ever present, all knowing, and still interested in in a little life, reaches down to this tiny speck of humanity and invites me to be like Jesus.  To trust Him.  To be like Him.  To love.  

And to be faithful.  

Even in the great big important things.  Even in the small seemingly pointless things.  Even when I don't feel like it.  Even when I do.

Even if it means sometimes the only thing he needs me to do today is share my lunch.