today there's been a general sense of waiting. it's a hard kind of waiting, too, anticipating the sorrow and hoping for (but not yet experiencing) the joy that will follow. i think this is ok. even healthy. so often we rush through Holy Week. in all our desire for Easter we live the week in a blur, not allowing ourselves to truly live it.
as i grow older, a lot of things gain greater significance. Easter is one such event. the development of my faith, the relationship I have grown with God, the way I have studied and learned, the lives around me--these things have together created something in me that is turning remarkably profound as I come to Easter this year. i don't think i can explain it, so i'm not going to try. but i pray that you sense some of it too, this Holy Week.
I know it isn't officially Maundy Thursday but I am posting this prayer of Brueggemann's now.
- - -
The Pivot of Hope
This day of dread and betrayal and denial
causes a pause in our busyness.
Who would have thought that you would take this eighth son of Jesse
to become the pivot of hope in our ancient memory?
Who would have thought that you would take
to become the pivot of newness in the world?
Who would have thought that you--
God of gods and Lord of lords--
would fasten on such small, innocuous agents
whom the world scorns
to turn creation toward your newness?
As we are dazzled,
give us the freedom to resituate our lives in modest,
uncredentialed, vulnerable places.
We ask for freedom and courage to move out from our nicely
arranged patterns of security
into dangerous places of newness where we fear to go.
Cross us by the cross, that we may be Easter marked. Amen.
(On reading 1 Samuel 16:1-13 on Maundy Thursday/April 12, 2001)
- - -
What is this waiting? why are we sitting here...?
I am deeply aware of desires we are unable to satisfy, captured as we are in cobwebs of sin and patterns of ill-behavior that demonstrate remarkable mistrust and genuine need. I am struck by the significant truth of the God-man Christ who reflects a vision for humanity--for the world--that means a reversal, a remaking of things. Yes, newness. The word itself is a quiet comfort. Newness.
First we reject him. First we do not understand. First we struggle to believe. First we are confused. First he suffers and dies for this newness. First he must leave us...
and we wait.