I have worked, probably as hard as I ever have, in focusing in on what this week is really about. Yet I have become so frustrated with all the hoopla that focusing my attention has become difficult. Egg hunts, new ensembles, the perfect meal. I don’t see any value in these things, yet they are dominating conversation wherever I go. Out of all the emotions that should be coursing through my being, frustration and anger should be waaaaaayyy at the bottom. But here they sit robbing me of my celebration. I hope and I will pray that I awake with the feeling of newness and victory. Trying to live with the joy Mary Magdalene embraced when she realized Jesus lives. That’s what I want for myself, for my family and anyone else reading these words. I truly hope we all find a way to really rejoice and appreciate the Good News.
As much as I have enjoyed writing. I forget sometimes how important it is to read. Especially on Easter weekend. Time now to find a quiet spot, open my Bible and remember. Rejuvenate the mind and spirit so that they are prepared to fully appreciate Easter.
I really think my compass this week has been all over the map. So mnany emotions this week, yet trying desperately to focus on the spiritual meaning of these days.
I was explaining to one of our youth that a relationship, any relationship takes effort. That goes without saying, but what I was trying to explain is that trials are the foundation upon which a relationship is built. Relationships come and go, the ones that are special are the ones we fight for; doing whatever is necessary to preserve the union. I recently expressed some thoughts on friendships vs. acquaintances. I think after all my jibberish that was really the heart of what I was trying to say.
Maundy Thursday is the perfect time to reflect on my relationships because of the events that we remember on this solemn evening. I don’t think I need to go into Passover, The last supper or the events that followed (at least not this evening). Instead, I want to comment on what Christ did before their last meal.
John 13: 1-5
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
In a number of churches, washing another’s feet has become part of the worship service. I never really clearly understood the importance of this particular act until just a few years ago. In the time of Christ where everyone walked, washing a person’s feet was a job for the lowest of servants. If you continue reading in the John, the disciple Peter objects to his Mentor, his Teacher accepting this role as his servant. In fact, he starts to argue with Jesus, stating “it is I that should be washing your feet, not the other way around. ” But in this moment, Jesus not only defines his purpose but the purpose of everyone that claims to follow him. That is a life devoted to service. A relationship with Jesus can only be attained by following his example. That means putting others first and ourselves last. It seems an odd that the path of righteousness is the complete opposite of our human nature. To do what God demands on a daily basis is hard, extremely hard but then that is why the relationship is so rewarding.
This week is holy. Trying to keep perspective on tomorrow (Maundy Thursday) and the events we honor and remember leading up to Sunday.
I have tried to stay vigilante with prayers, meditation, reading and thankfulness. Yet I got thrown off my game by a young man that continually faces name calling and verbal abuse from his peers. He has at times defended himself but is now seen as a troublemaker. Try as I may, I can’t be around to remind him of his value. The potential he has to do amazing things but the verbal damage he sustains makes me concerned if he will indeed put his faith in Christ or succomb to anger.
His story is not unusual. People from all walks of life that live with no respect for themselves or for others. I have to keep in mind that any freedom comes with a price.
People that hate themselves or their situation want others to live in the same despair and hopelessness that they endure. I believe attitudes are a choice and if someone chooses to be miserable that is their right. But I am getting more than irritated at doing nothing, saying nothing and walking away incensed.
Lord I’m hot and frustrated and looking for some help. I pray that young man finds the peace he deserves and maybe I can be used as an instrument of change.
Thank You is used so much that sometimes it seems incapable of expressing varying degrees of gratitude. I really wish I had a more extensive vocabulary, however I did look it up in a thesaurus. Here are the synonyms I found.
Synonyms: acknowledgment, benediction, blessing, credit, grace, gramercy, gratefulness…
So how do you relay the depth of appreciation to a parent, teacher or mentor. People that have made profound positive impacts on the person I have become and am trying to be. How do you relay such gratitude without coming across as a nut job. I don’t really have an answer, maybe someone has some advise.
It was a painful realization one evening when I realized, I was an adult and had put away all my childish things. Amoung these “things” was my imagination and my daringness to dream.
I know it sounds silly, but this evening I was reminded about how important our dreams really are. I was reminded of an old saying that goes something like this
“He that asks for nothing is seldom disappointed”
I have realized that God placed me here at this particular time for a reason. The dreams and aspirations that are apart of me were given to me to fulfill. Yet, it is my responsibility to seek him, follow his commandments and to know him intimately. Only then will my faith bear the fruit God so desperately wants me to achieve. So tonight I dusted off some of those dreams I had long since given up on, I know that their is nothing the lord can’t accomplish. He wants to give unto his children and give abundantly.
I gotta tell you it felt good to dream, to disregard the past and believe in my dreams again. That’s pure freedom, to know with God’s help there is nothing that can’t be accomplished.
Palm Sunday as I grow further in my faith has become a very emotional day for me.
It is a reminder of the week to come. The days leading up the crucifixion of Christ. Often the events leading to his death are overlooked, because on Easter he arose. Yet, I believe his suffering should be remembered, in detail by all of his followers. He didn’t just stand before Pilot and Herrod. He was tortured and humiliated, denied by his friends and foresaken by his father. He endured unimaginable pain, yet never spoke a word of anger. Even his last few hours, riving in pain, Jesus tries to comfort a thief, his mother and friends.
I am ashamed to say that, way to often, I forget the sacrifice one man had to endure for my salvation. I know for some these images of our savior broken, bleeding, disfigured make them uncomfortable. They don’t want to think of our savior in such a way
We don’t like to think of this time. Instead we want to jump ahead to the resurrection. But it was during this week of persecution Jesus experienced the worst of humanity. There is nothing we have been through that he, as a man did not endure himself. Most of us will never know a physical or emotional pain that he endured.
On this day, I thought it was important to remind myself of the suffering that occured this week. Remembering why he let it happen and the reclaimation because of it. Lord, please keep these thoughts in the center of my worship this week.
To those who have taken a valuable commodity, (your time) and used it to respond to my erratic thoughts, I truly thank you. There are some incredibly talented persons, much more professional than I who have helped with technique and focus. But then their are the folks operating on a level of faith and love, at this point I can only hope to achieve. If you have given your time to this blog, please know how much it is appreciated. I hope you will continue to mentor me along this journey. May God Bless and keep each of you.