Monday, March 30, 2015

Lenten Reflections: Holy Week

"The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 

Matthew 21:9

Saturday night, the lights of the city were in view. 


We stretch our legs and cast off the dust that we had been carrying for 40 days.

Our long journey will soon come to an end.

It's been a "long and winding road", hasn't it?

Palm Sunday. The embodiment of Lent and all that we've been through and experienced. Utmost joy and deepest pain rolled into one. Celebration and mourning. Two birds killed with one stone.

The overwhelming welcome for Jesus and His followers would soon give way to a roller coaster ride of events and emotions that would leave Jesus rejected, beaten and killed, and the disciples scattered, confused, dejected and terrified. They had no idea what was to come.

A joyous "Hosanna!" would soon morph into a bitter and cynical "Crucify!"

The one they called "Messiah" and begged, "Save us!", would soon become someone that they saw no salvation in whatsoever.

We are no different. Standing at the gates of Jerusalem, cheering with self-righteous cries of group-think, we change what and where we find our salvation.

Yesterday morning we shouted, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." 

This week we'll join the crowds: "Crucify Him!"     

Lent will soon come to an end. We will cast off the dust that we've carried since Ash Wednesday. Our mourning will turn to joy. Celebration. Culmination. Long awaited redemption.

But reality stares us in the face with those who rejoiced over 2000 years ago. Rejoicing is short lived and transparent.

We join the crowds. We condemn. We spit. We beat and torture. We crucify.

Let's not kid ourselves. We still have a few difficult days ahead of us. Have we learned enough from Lent to carry us to Golgotha? I can see it in the distance. Can you? Does Christ look better to us on his thrown, or on the cross?  

Lord, as we join with the crowds in declaring, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.", help us to not turn our backs. Help us not join the crowds. Help us to stand on our own if we have to. We know how easy it is to follow others, even when it means betraying You. Keep us close. Let us suffer with You as we celebrate as well. Because it is in our suffering that we find our perfect joy. Amen