There is so much to read today in the lectionary texts, so many scenarios and complicating emotions! It’s only Sunday and we have the whole Holy Week to deal with, yet the entire drama is placed before us today, perhaps so that we are able to hold it all as the week goes on – even while knowing already both the tragic and the glorious pieces of the outcome.
I always try to be in the moment as we travel through the days of Holy Week but no matter how deeply we place ourselves in the scenes as they are recounted – the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to the acclaim of the crowd, the poignant last supper with his closest disciples and then the emotional flip to the denial of Jesus by Peter and betrayal by Judas, the trial, crucifixion and burial – it is impossible for us to feel the total impact of it all. We know the end of the story even as it begins.
Perhaps the best we can do is reflect on experiences in our lives that are analogous to, although maybe not as stark as, what we are facing this week. Consider the celebrative meals – anniversaries or holidays, perhaps – that you have shared with loved ones, especially if someone is moving away or in danger of death. Reflect on a low moment when you could have spoken up with a truth that would not be popular yet you remained silent or went along with the crowd. Remember recent stories of gun violence when innocent people were killed for no reason. If you are able, take the feelings from these scenarios (or others) and the seek out Jesus for a quiet moment of conversation about what he is experiencing on each of these days.
There is great opportunity for deepening spiritually during this week. May we all come to Easter renewed!