Holy Week has come and gone. The bluster of activities, services, and meals has come and gone. And now, I can sit quietly to think what has just happened. Again.
I suppose Holy Week is meant to walk us through a series of emotions and reflections. It is designed to usher us through the procession from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. Our hearts rise with adulation of Jesus and his triumphal entry into Jerusalem with our own voices shouting “Hosanna” – “God save us”. Then we find ourselves in the intimacy of the Upper Room, feeding off the tender teaching of the last supper, and hearing how it will be with our Lord, going forth – “You in Me and I in You” says our Lord. Only to confront our own failure in the Garden, to stay awake even one hour, to serve our Lord in his hour of need. Could we not do the one thing He asked us? Like one half awake, half drugged, we walk confused through a deep, guttural agony to the Cross – not for him, but for our own sakes. A sudden discovery we are desperately alone. We mourn not just his death, but ours too. What did it take in me to require this? What role did I play in the death of our Lord?
Then darkness and quiet – when all eternity hung in the balance for a relatively short period of time. We hardly give it a moment’s notice as it passes with unseemly ease on a beautiful Saturday afternoon filled with family, friends and food.
I suppose it is a mercy of our 2000 year old Christian faith. We already know light comes after darkness. Jesus – the Victorious Jesus – arrives again. Brilliant, Glorious, Commanding in Power and Love. He stands Victor over death and life. Emptied, tired, broken, we let the joy sweep us up knowing it is all we ever wanted or could imagine. It has complete power over the day. All is well. All will be well.
The whole movement from darkness to light, from death to life, in just a short 36 hours is almost too much to understand. So I pray today:
“Lord, there is so much here! I cannot grasp all that has just happened. What is it you want me to understand?”
He answers, “The most important thing is my Love for you.”
“Lord, I love you with my whole heart. You are so Worthy to be loved. But I do not fully understand your love for me.”
He answers, “You do. You do know my love for you. It is not a BIG esoteric equation that hangs in the universe, unreachable. My love for you surrounds you and envelopes you a hundred different ways moment by moment. It is everywhere. You live in it.”
“Lord, forgive my daftness. I am much slower in understanding than you think. Show me.”
“Elizabeth, every morning, I awake you in my Spirit. And fill you with hope for the new day before you put your feet on the floor. I pour out beauty all around so that you would know me and share in my delight and joy – from the smallest things (a sunrise over the water) to the greatest (a renewed life and spirit in a child of mine). I give you my Word –promises upon promises of my love for you – love letters telling of the length that I would go for you. And people… Do you not see how I love you in the people I have given you? My people who tend and care for you? That is Me! I have never left you or forsaken you. I have been with you every moment, and always will be. And though you think you leave me sometimes; you are still not out of my presence. I go with you. Though you think you have let me down and disappointed me and forsaken me, I have already accounted for that. I took that into consideration. And Still, I went to the cross and died for you. Your past, present and future failings are accounted for. You do not have to carry them anymore. You don’t have to be so wary, so guarded. I gave you everything I had, so we could be having this conversation now. This is all I wanted. For you to be in me, and I in you. Do you see how I love you?”
“Yes, Lord. In my head. I pray you will fill up my heart too.”
If you really want to experience my love in you…Do all that I have done for you… for someone else.”
And that is how I prayed the Tuesday after Easter. What the Lord has done for me, I am passing along to you.
All is well. All will be well.