I am still getting my head around the fact that this is Holy Week, I am not sure what happened to Lent, yes I know that Holy Week is a part of Lent, but time seems to be flying by. Today has been a full day too, I am preparing for two funerals directly after Easter, and finalising the details of those. I feel for the families who are having to wait to say goodbye while the world around them celebrates new life and prepares for a feast, and I am pondering that this must have been the case for Jesus friends and followers after the horror of that first “Good” Friday, people in the city would have carried on celebrating the Passover, meals shared, religious observances continued, while grief gripped this group, their hopes dashed, and hearts broken. I find it both challenging and sobering how the world continues to turn sometimes when we would dearly like it to stop.
Time is a strange thing, sometimes there is too much of it, but more often I wonder where it goes, I wonder how when I sit to pray in the morning that I seem to have barely begun before I need to go somewhere or do something, and it makes no difference when I do manage to drag myself out of bed an hour ealier than usual.
There is too much time and not enough time, I wonder if Jesus felt that about Holy Week, I am sure he knew what he was walking into, if not the full details of it, and from the accounts of his struggle in Gethsemane we know that he was in a sate of turmoil as well as determination. At times I wonder how he found the strength to challenge injustice, continue teaching and even weep over the city that would demand his life, and yet at the same time I know that he was not held by this world in the same way that I allow myself to be, and that challenges me. It challenges me to let go of my small demands and concerns, my often selfish ways, and to give myself to something greater, something outside of time, and more than I can begin to imagine…
We sing and speak and pray about the Kingdom of God so often without really grasping what it is and what it means, I say I am a disciple, a follower and a learner of Christ, but do I really know what I am saying. Every year I renew the Methodist Covenant Prayer, praying those powerful words “I am no longer my own…”, but do I mean it or am I really in the buisness of grasping moments and days to myself, for myself, and what does it mean to give myself up anyway?
How do I juxtapose the notion of taking up my cross and following, with enetering in to fullness of life, surely that is an oxymoron? Maybe much of my life is….
So I find myself stumbling into Holy Week, I am still recovering from the flu, which is why I fell asleep this evening and missed a going back to the Comfort Zone, but I am not going to beat myeslf up for that. I am going to allow myself to pause and ponder instead, to allow myself to find a pattern of work and rest and not psuh myself to do things I do not have to do, but might do because they make me feel or look good to others. Today has been busy, but in it I found time to walk in the park, to look at signs of spring breaking through, signs of new life stirring as winter loosens its grip.
Loving God, as I make my way through this week I pray that I would find the time to encoutner you in unexpected ways. That I would be able to savour moments of joy and pain and be willing to learn from both, as I encounter the story of Jesus final days afresh show me the path of life, even in the shadow of the cross. Amen