“The Word is ‘Breathe'”
Dear Broad Street Family,
Let’s take the time to reflect on the week which epitomizes the Lenten journey.
Thursday evening we gathered with the disciples at the Last Supper and, like the disciples in Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, we dared to ask, “Is it I?” With this question, the Lenten journey slows to a crawl, begging us to examine our faith, address the nagging questions that keep us awake at night, and struggle with the issues that we ask God to let pass if possible.
Friday between noon and three there is the chance to hear the taunts of “Crucify him,” to throw the dice for his cloak, to witness the thieves hung next to Jesus and watch John, the beloved, be given charge of Jesus’ mother. When the temple veil is torn in two, can you hear the heart of God breaking? These are all painful images, but images that can be held gently and examined, filling us with a myriad of emotions and thoughts. Can we comprehend a love such as this? This love, Christ’s love, is meant for us—each of us—without exception or condition.
Try spending some time feeling the emptiness of loss and grief that the disciples and Jesus’ family must have felt. What would you want to say at Jesus’ funeral if you had a chance to participate in his eulogy?
Jurgen Moltmann wrote, “It is only the person who lives slowly who really experiences something of life.” I would add that the forty days of Lent are meant to help us experience a kind of love so difficult to imagine or understand that without slowing down we could miss it. We could wind up at lunch on Easter Sunday having sung the great hymns and enjoyed all the music and flowers, and still have missed that this love is for you and me. We could miss our own resurrection, the new life promised to us.
Just remember this: resurrection is not a form of resuscitation. The Jesus we praise offers a whole new life which is possible now. So breathe—fully and deeply. Rejoice in the peace that passes understanding. Wash in the joy that was strong enough to roll away a stone. Hear the teacher call your name. Listen to the angels tell you Jesus isn’t in the tomb but is risen. Don’t rush through a single moment of discovering that that the risen Lord was and is present to you—as close as your breathing.
May Holy Week continue to happen within you and give you deep peace.
Blessings, Pastor Lou