Feeling the Cross

Banners-1dSo this week is finally here.  It’s the most important week in the life of our Christian Year. It’s not the happiest week.  It’s not the mountain top high spiritual experience kind of week.  Quite the opposite.  It should be a down on your knees kind of week.  It should be head bowed and tears welling up in your eyes kind of week.  And why is this important?

Because too often the focus in our lives is about comfort, joy, feeling good, heroes winning, triumph with no challenge, and success.  But reality often looks more like a mixture including pain, suffering, sadness, good people losing, struggle after struggle, and failure to accomplish good goals.  Also mixed into this is our own culpability of sin that leads to a lot of our pain.  Sometimes we are collateral damage to the pain of the world around us.  But often times, we are our own worst enemy.

So as we reflect on the life and death of Jesus Christ this Holy Week, part of our humility must come from the truth that our proper place in this story is not Jesus on the cross.  Probably not even the disciples or Mary, the Mother of Jesus watching and weeping from a distance.  It’s probably with the Jewish leaders and political leaders and people in the streets yelling “Crucify Him!”.  This is an important time to acknowledge and confess our sin in rejecting Jesus.  We have all done it at some point in our lives- chosen not to follow Jesus.  Chosen not to adhere to His teaching.  Chosen our own path or our own comfort or our own truth.

The power for me in this week is realizing and owning that as faithful as I strive to be in my life, I am partly responsible for Jesus’ need to hang on that cross.  It is for my sins that Jesus gives his life.  It is for my weaknesses that Jesus shows amazing strength. It is for the gift of promised eternal life for me that Jesus died.  And this week, I feel it.  I feel the breadth of God’s love for me because I feel the real suffering that Jesus and his loved ones felt.

And it makes me feel heavy.  Sad.  Melancholy.  Humble.  Guilty. Unworthy.  At least for a few days.  Sunday, we will celebrate the rest of the story.  But not until we have sat in this dark place for a while.  Need help getting there?  Worship with us at Centenary Thursday night at 7:30 for a powerful Maundy Thursday service including a stripping of the altar and on Friday for the Service of Tenebrae presented by our choir also at 7:30 in the Sanctuary.

Please, take time to sit near the cross this week.  Then join us for Easter worship Sunday morning!  (8:45, 9:00, 10:10 or 11:00 am)

Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do….  (Luke 23:34)

Holy Week Blessings,

Lory Beth

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