The height of the Christian calendar is approaching, and it involves deeper stuff than eggs and fake grass that’s impossible to clean out of your house. (That stuff has got to be environmentally disastrous…). Lent is supposed to be season of reflection and repentance but you may find yourself in this common struggle: when to pause to reflect long enough to repent? Work, home, family, friends, ministry and service. But Sunday starts a new week! It really is a turning point in Lent. That’s why we’ll be pausing our Lord’s Prayer series for two Sundays to focus on the events of Christ’s last week of life and then his first day of new life. Palm Sunday celebrates his ‘triumphal entry’ into Jerusalem, kicking off what we call “Passion Week.” Passion comes from the Latin word which means “suffering.” It is not a week of merriment. It’s a week that remembers the intense suffering of our Savior, which had physical, social and spiritual elements. It wasn’t just about being whipped, exhausted and then brutally crucified on a Roman cross. It was also the emotional and spiritual toil of betrayal by a close friend; of being rejected by his own people who didn’t recognize him to be their Messiah (John 1:11); of being unable to fully share his struggle with his closest disciples who still didn’t quite get it; and of anticipating the greatest horror of all – hell on the cross when fellowship with His Father and with the Holy Spirit would be broken, even for a brief time.
As a fellow struggler to make the time to engage in this meditative spiritual discipline, I encourage you to carve out chunks next week to deliberately prepare your hearts in the midst of a very busy season, but more importantly, a most special week.
Read through the end of one of the Gospel accounts, like Mark 14-16. Vividly imagine what Christ endured. Then join us on Thursday evening as we share a meal and celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And then return on Good Friday to mourn, to catch a glimpse of darkness – all while knowing that Light has come! (You may need to tell your boss this week, that Good Friday is your ‘highest holy day’ and that you’ll just need the day off, or to leave early).
Jesus is worthy of your time and effort. “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
Grace to you,