Wednesday, April 1, 2009

All that Matters

"You'll find a colt. Untie and bring it."
"A woman will pour out expensive perfume. Let her be."
"You'll see a guy with a jug of water. Follow him home."

In the fourteenth chapter of Mark, Jesus gives the above directions to his disciples on the road to Jerusalem. It all must have been surreal - these disjointed, random strangers and events that occur right in line with Jesus' prediction.

I imaging that following Jesus on his entry (palms waving, people shouting) was both exciting and exhausting for the disciples. When they finally reached the upper room, they probably reclined, poured some wine and settled in for a good night of conversation about the days events.
But not Jesus.
His heart was heavy.
He'd already been handed over by Judas - and he knew it. (Mark 14:10-11) As he looked around the table, his heart must have ached as he pictured each of his beloved friends scattering like sheep. (Mark 14:27-31)

"A rooster will crow twice - and you will betray me.. but don't worry, I won't betray you, " he tells them.

When I was in elementary Sunday School, I remember distinctly reading Jesus' words to Peter (above) and actually feeling a chill come over me. I knew that if I was in that situation, I would be just Peter. I'd run. It gave me a chill to think that Jesus "saw through" Peter ... and despite this still loved him.

Since then, I have certainly psychoanylzed my "chill" response to this scripture and, in fact, I have never told anyone of how deeply it effected me.. for fear of being labeled an emotional child with anxiety related to blah, blah, blah.

But I believe now that that chill I felt was conviction. The truth of human nature as relayed in the Gospel is powerful. No matter our age, it can convict us.

The story of Holy Week convicts my daughter who asked me yesterday to tell her again about Jesus and the cross. She popped her head up from the pillow and interupted, asking, "Was the Holy Spirit there?" When I assured her, yes, the Holy Spirit was there - she was relieved. She put her head back down. "Good," she said.

If the Gospel doesn't convict us, if we don't see ourselves in this drama of Christ dying for us, than we are missing the grace it offers.

So here I publicly and openly "blog" that, as a third grader, the sound of the cock crowing haunted me.. and still haunts me.

Can I stick by Jesus on this road that leads to a hellish place known as the skull?

Holy Week is almost here.

Will I deny him this year?

On Palm Sunday, I am pretty confident I can make the steps. I am pretty sure I am strong enough to go with my Lord.

But when I clean up the palms from the pews this Sunday afternoon, I know the truth. I am no different than Peter.
By Good Friday, I will be weeping in the church pew.
Because I can't go with him.
I run.
I hide.
My love fails.
But it's okay. His love remains steadfast. And that is all that matters.


Anonymous said...

It is good for me to hear you say that you too are sometimes like Peter. If only we could continue to see things like a child,like your daughter. I struggle and fail daily and end up having to ask for forgiveness. Knowing that I can be forgiven is one of the most powerful & wonderful gifts God gives me. It also gives me the courage to fight the good fight so to speak. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

If I could add anything to the initial blog, I would do it. Since I can't, I won't. God Bless all who read these blogs. They are wisdom from God.