The week before Easter
I’ve been trying to intentionally sit with the stories of Jesus, in the week before he died.
It is easy to jump to Easter Sunday, and we know the joy of the resurrection, the gift of God with us, an alive God who desires to enter our lives, living with and within us!
This past week I went on retreat, having the opportunity to walk the stations of the cross, to ponder the suffering of our Lord. He was beaten, spit upon. That affected me. It is abhorrent and sad.
When we enter into the stories, imagining what it would have been like, for the terrified disciples, for the tender mother heart of Mary, for the onlookers who joined into that crowd mentality with hatred, for Jesus himself who was deeply troubled as the scripture tells us.
What is my response? I am sad, I am horrified, I am deeply sorry, and ultimately I am thankful for the love of our compassionate Creator God who chose to become one of us.
Although I am not a Catholic, and our Protestant tradition displays the empty cross (hallelujah), I see this week as an invitation to enter into the suffering of Christ. It is natural to want to avoid those images, but they are part of His-story, history, a crossroads if you will, that is a cornerstone of our faith.
The cross is such an interesting icon, a symbol of torture, and yet it has been transformed into a symbol of sacrifice and love for us. I wear a cross and I like to think about what it means. It is not just a piece of jewelry but a reminder of God’s love for me, and a statement that I am a follower of Jesus.
So it is a good week to ponder. To reflect. To be thankful.