WHERE DO YOU WANT US?
with Rev. Rachel
17 WHERE DO YOU WANT US? Matthew 27
I cannot speak to where God wants you in any certain terms. However, I believe God longs for our attention and I believe that this is a week, if ever there was one, for us to chasten our “I cannot”.
Let’s figure out how a week becomes holy. Let’s show up. Does showing up mean attending this or that service? Maybe. Does it mean a sacrificial offering of your self to others? It could.
Whatever you discern to be your way, involve the story. It is through our interaction with the Word that God gets us where we are wanted: Near.
Here is one means of marking the days.
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This is Palm Sunday. The quiet of the morning gives way to chaos. In at least one pocket of Jerusalem, the streets are filled. When will he come by here? This evening, he is on foot and without the fanfare. Imagine Jesus sharing supper with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, while eating yours.
Jesus has woken before you, to make his way back into the city. What he sees us putting first grieves him deeply. He is furious. Monday is moment after moment of Jesus coming face to face with all that needs redemption. Again, he leaves for the night. He knows tomorrow will be contentious.
All day, Tuesday, he is confronted for what did yesterday. Listen for the voices questioning his authority. Still, he teaches, sharing among others, the parables of the vineyard and the wedding banquet. The last stories he told… do you know which they were?
Wednesday: First thing, Judas is busy. Meanwhile, Jesus rests. This evening, Mary will pour upon him costly perfumed oil. Judas shifts from his scheming long enough to object. If there is table in sight, look for Jesus there. He is making a place for Mary’s offering and suggesting that her gift is one that will even more by week’s end.
Later today a new commandment is issued and makes this Thursday, Maundy (from the Latin, mandatum). But before the evening meal, and the “Love one another as I have loved you,” the disciples are preparing, creating sacred space. Our nighttime coincides with the Garden. If at midnight, you are yet asleep, this hour marks the arrest.
While we slept, Jesus endured a dungeon. It is Good Friday. See him standing before various accusers, the whole morning long. Lunchtime: Soldiers are walking him through the city and up the hill. For the next three hours, he hangs. Our 3:00 is his last. And because they want him out of sight before the start of the Sabbath, the getting him down from there is hurried. By 6:00, he is buried.
For all of Holy Saturday, it is what it is. Jesus is gone. The disciples are dying inside. Nothing went the way it was supposed to and perhaps, their lives no longer mattered. The last three years: Had it been in vain? Would the authorities come for them too?