Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy week

It's less than a week until Easter, the first season I have celebrated Lent, and still I find myself scrambling to prepare my heart. What, exactly, am I trying to prepare for, I wonder? The events have already taken place in history and live on today in their glorious mystery, regardless of how prepared I feel. But as my pastor read the story of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem, His triumphant entry, with the crowds waving palm branches and shouting praises to Him, knowing that many of these same characters would be among the crowds crying, "Crucify!" a few days later, I saw myself. That I, too, am prone to such fickleness of heart. The people were not ready to receive Jesus for who He was. They were looking for a different messiah and weren't ready to let Jesus reshape those hopes and dreams, not having the eyes yet to see that He, in fact, was the answer to the promises they held onto.

I sat in church, asking myself the same question the crowds asked after they'd waved Jesus through: "Who is this?" It's a question I need to ask myself more often; because it's a question that, no matter how deep I go with God, will never fully be understood. He is bottomless, boundless, infinite. It is impossible to contain Him in our words, and yet, that is part of the invitation to know Him.

As our pastor continued unfolding the layout of the triumphal entry, revealing some profound parallels between this and the resurrection story, one thing he said really caught in my heart. It was during the account of Jesus clearing the temple of money changers once He arrived in Jerusalem. Pastor Kelly said, "What angers Jesus most is the message that we can make our way to God. It's the only thing in the gospels that really infuriates Him." The statement struck me as obvious, but for some reason, I'd never really thought of it like that. After the religious and the money changers had been cleared from God's house, the temple, there were particular groups of people that emerged and came to Jesus. I never noticed this in all my readings of this story. In the aftermath of the passionate clearing, the ones who remained were the blind, the lame, and the children. In other words, the ones who, before, could not afford to make their way to Jesus. Couldn't buy or work their way to Him. These were the ones who received Him. These were the ones He came to, and to them He offered the kingdom of heaven. Not because of their status, but because of their hearts and their dependency on Him. They were ready to receive Him.

This week, this holy week leading up to Good Friday and then to resurrection Sunday, I want to approach Jesus among the blind, the lame and the children. From this perspective, I hope to see Him up close, to receive Him as He is.


  1. I know--such a powerful message yesterday....

  2. Yeah, it sure was...

    Is this Mary? :) I've been trying to figure it out...