This week, when Christians celebrate the Passion, was one of my favorite seasons in the church. Sure, without the resurrection there wouldn't be much of a church. During the Passion, we follow the story-from the public accolades of Palm Sunday to the first Last Supper shared to the dark Friday of pain and death to the uncertain pause of Saturday culminating in the joyous celebration of Jesus' victory. But, really, and I do understand that I am a slow learner, I just figured out something about the Passion. It's about suffering.
Yeah, I know. "Duh," you say. Well, smarty pants, for many of us, we grew up celebrating. We have delicious food on holidays. We have an Easter bunny (wrong religion but this is America after all) who brings chocolate. America is not really a land where suffering is overt. If something hurts, we take a pill, we see a doctor, we change our relationship, our job, our house. We just don't put up with pain very well, do we?
One thing that confused me when I first began to follow Jesus, and he and I wrestled about this frequently, was this redemption thing. Ok, so he gives us the opportunities to be children of God, he breaks the hold sin has on us, he redeems all of creation. Right?
That would be where I trip up. Sinner? Oh yeah, got that. In need of a Savior? Absolutely! Worthy? Not even close, but so thankful for grace! Redeemable? How do I fix the mess I am? How can he?
Maybe in heaven, right? That's when all things are right. We live in that "already but not yet moment." Since God is in all time, somewhere I am whole, I am good, I am lovable.
Do I know how to sell God short or what? I will give him all the outs. I won't expect too much. I won't be too needy. Somehow, I don't think that is what God had in mind tho.
As I have been meditating this week, following the events of my Savior's life, I have been thinking about my own journey. I have been thinking about what it means to die, to be buried, and to raised with him. That was the plan with baptism, right?
I have been thinking about the old me, the one who was so angry and hurt and lost, the one who was wounded and damaged, the one who couldn't afford to hope.
This week, I have been blessed with opportunities that my dear Lord totally set up (mostly because he has a hysterical sense of humor, I think). I was able to share who I was, how God rearranged something in my heart, truly creating someone different. I shared hope. I shared love. I shared faith. I shared my passion, my sufferings that lead to my resurrection. And somehow those scars that no longer hold me captive, gave my friend hope and maybe a little more faith that none of us are so hopeless as to be beyond redemption, beyond the power of our God to change us.
When I was a child, this week was church and ritual and observing Jesus' journey. Today, it is also remembering and participating, my redemption through Jesus.
My Jesus lives, and so do I.