We are about to embark upon a very dangerous week. Yes, dangerous. It is this particular week that the world might watch and see what it is that we Christians do. How is it that we express our Christianity?
Preachers and seminarians might be fond of saying “take your cares to the cross,” leave your worries “at the foot of the cross,” walk “all the way to the cross;” it is this week that we actually make this journey alongside Jesus. (We might refrain from such comments at other times in case we get a little carried away and vague about what it is we are doing….)
What are we doing? We are remembering the footsteps that Jesus took, his stumbling, horrific walk to his death, carrying his own cross. “Cross of Jesus, cross of sorrow … perfect man on thee has bled.”
Notice that it is not we who are the center of this week; it is Jesus. While we do these very public worship sorts of things together, we do not focus on one another. We do not look from side to side and stress over who waves their palms the highest, the least, or “who got more.” We do not rate our clothing or our singing or our walking or our worship. We focus as intently as we can, on Jesus.
Brother Curtis Almquist of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist:
It is the worship and glorification of God that we must ever keep at the center of our life and prayer. Not our own selves at the center. Not our own work, not our own causes. Not even our own like-minded friends and colleagues, but God.
Imagine the power of our Christian walk when we are each and all focused in one direction – and that direction is not on ourselves. Imagine the power in proclaiming Jesus as Lord and our Savior in one voice, in one sacred walk….
We are participating this week in very visible ways. We wave palms and shout and sing and glorify Jesus as he comes into our world once again; we plunge into despair when we kill him once again. We participate in our own walk with our Lord, our own participation in his death as we await His saving grace. We wash feet, or allow our feet to be washed, that Jesus might wash us, too; that we might submit to love such that we have never known. Our individual experiences meld into one common worship of our Lord. We are Christians.
We are being an example for our community and the world. We are being, in some eyes, weird. This is our week to set aside as many other priorities as we can. This is our week when we try to live fully into our vocation as CHRISTIANS first; as lawyers and teachers and accountants and citizens of the world second. We are still mothers and daughters, sons, fathers, uncles, and friends. And we are showing the world how we stand beside our Lord. We are living who we are as precious loved, beloved children of God.
This week is a walk of love. It is dangerous work, this loving Jesus. Christians in times past and in parts of the world today face daily persecution for knowing our Lord, for loving Jesus and proclaiming Truth in the face of everything else. Proclaim Truth.
This week? Go ahead and be weird. Feel uncomfortable with telling others that you are going to church AGAIN. Shrug off the uncomfortableness that you think others feel for you. Know that you are filling your life, your very soul, with Jesus. We are living our faith, and living it in front of the world. That’s weird! And weird is just fine. Find comfort in filling ourselves with the very best love that there is.
Walk and wait, precious friends, for Easter.