Thursday, March 28, 2013

Walking the Path in Love

It isn't as glamorous as Christmas but I do think Easter is my favorite holiday.  Not maybe the most fun but the most meaningful.  I love the services throughout the week.  The lead up, the emotional road we take from triumphant entry on Palm Sunday to recalling and comprehending Christ's death and our role in it on Maunday Thursday and Good Friday.  Then Saturday night the Vigil followed by the celebration on Easter Sunday.  Oh the emotional roller coaster we have been on, what a week, what a powerful story, what a blessing to be part of that story.

I have been reading the book of John in anticipation of Holy week.  With the intention of getting to the passion readings this week.  Got there a little early and was meditating on Jesus arrest the other day.

Prior to his arrest Jesus has spent time praying.  He knew what was going to happen and asked God if there was any way he could avoid this path he was about to walk.  He wasn't trying to get out of saving all of us but if there was ANY way of accomplishing this task without going through the pain and suffering he was about to endure...could we at least spend a couple minutes considering the options?  Just to be sure.

However, by the time Judas arrived with his contingency of soldiers Jesus knew it was the only way and was ready to walk the road before him.  He didn't panic when Judas arrived, didn't try to run, didn't try to fight or justify himself.  The time of teaching and revealing was over, this was the time of submitting to becoming the sacrifice for all of humanity.

Side note here:

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away!”
Don't you sort of think these are 2 of the most awesome and totally overlooked verses of the passion reading?  I mean not really significant in the grand scheme of Christ's sacrifice but let's picture this here..."Peter, WHO HAD A SWORD, drew it and...cut off his right ear"!  How many pictures of Jesus and his disciples are depicted looking more like the fellowship of the ring or Arthur's knights?  So I am gathering here that Peter and the other disciples regularly carried around swords to defend themselves as they walked along the roads between towns, or, praying in a secluded garden.  You never know where danger is lurking.  I imagine them battling bandits on the roads and when they get into town instead of swaggering into the nearest bar they swagger into the local synagogue and preach the good news.  When does that movie come out!?!  Peter has always been my favorite disciple, this just makes me like him more.

OK back to Jesus.

So Jesus is arrested and taken to Annas, then Caiaphas and then Pilate, Herod, back to Pilate and then off to cruxifiction.  In all of it he was questioned, and questioned.  And really Pilate and Herod are practically begging him to help them come up with a reason to release him.  But he knows this is the path and this is the time. What I am struck by is how calmly he goes through this process.  He has accepted his fate and goes forward with peace.  Imagine how much love he must have for us to do so.  Knowing, as we do because of his prayers before hand, that he really did not want to do this, but loving us so much that with absolute confidence and clarity he walks this path.  He did it for us, he accepted, and endured and died because he loves us.

I wonder about my reactions to the path of my life.  I don't always want to walk through the hard times.  Like last fall when I said I wanted to skip over the holidays. But I knew I couldn't skip it (can't go over it, can't go under it) and I knew we needed to do and experience the hard parts of this past fall. (I guess we will have to go through it.)  Do we walk through our life with the love and acceptance that Christ did or do we fight and resist as we go?

As we prepare to sell our house right now I only feel excited, but I have already warned John that there are bound to be days I cry over this decision in the future.  However, I know that this sacrifice will ultimately bring us more peace and joy.  This move will allow me to stop complaining about being broke on this blog and get back to personal and spiritual growth musings and funny stories while raising the folly of my youth and the mid life crisis.  And wouldn't we all prefer to read about that?  I know I would.

As we watch Christ walk to the cross this week and experience the euphoria of his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, are we following his example, walking the path in love, or are we fighting and resisting His plan for our life?

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