Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a holy week surprise

Surprise. Holy Week is many things - beautiful, arresting, heart-
Easter Vigil 2011
Click image; link to flyer
breaking - but "surprise" is not one of the words we associate with this annual ritual observance. We know how this story goes, right? As of Palm Sunday, Jesus had entered Jerusalem. As of Thursday, he will have shared a Last Supper with his friends, and then he will enter the garden to await the horrors ahead. On Good Friday, he will be crucified. Then early, early on Sunday - basically Saturday night - everything turns, the world changes, and there's a whole new story to celebrate.

Not surprising. And yet, as you walk through this week, I pray that you will be surprised. Allow yourself to visit the texts, no matter how familiar they may be to you, with fresh ears and an open heart (see bottom box for art and links to readings for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Allow yourself to grieve for our brother, God, Jesus, who suffers the unimaginable and then dies a death you wouldn't wish on the world's worst criminal. Let your tears surprise you. And if some part of you has been slowly dying and falling away, but you've been gripping it in desperation, imagine letting it go. Imagine what else God has in store.

Jesus' journey may look the same every year. How we walk with him, how we inhabit his story - that is what keeps changing. There is always some other part of you that needs to die, and some part of you that God is just about to resurrect. And you usually have no idea.

Surprise. And amen.

Read the whole "Life @ The Crossing" newsletter HERE.

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