And yet, and yet...I know that these little picky things that have me all worked up are pretty insignificant. My life is full of such beauty. And it's not out of sync to be feeling a little out of sorts given the season. Holy Week is a time of joy and celebration, but we have to walk through the darkness to get there. Jesus, who entered Jerusalem at the beginning of the week to laud and glory, is now preparing his friends (and himself) for death. Not only does he face the end of his earthly ministry and the separation from his family and friends, he fears the agony and the betrayal that comes with it.
It must have felt something like failure.
I imagine that Jesus had enough human in him to despair a little that even those who had walked most closely with him still did not get it. That the very ones he had come to lead would turn their backs on him. That the religious leaders would shout the loudest when the crowd demanded "Crucify him". He knew that it would end well, and yet, it's hard to hold onto that in the darkness of the moment.
We had a very moving service on Sunday that combined both Palm and Passion Sunday observances. In the beginning, the sanctuary was decorated in palms, we sang songs of praise, and purple clothed the tables. And then there was a marked change during a hymn when our pastor traded her purple stole for a red one, and likewise switched the cloth on the altar cross. Several narrators seated within the congregation read the entire Passion narrative from Matthew.
Things can change in an instant--from joy to depression, from hope to despair. This is ministry, this is Christianity. We follow a Savior that has walked this road and knows all too well its hurts and disappointments. And yet, we hang on in the darkness, knowing that this is not the end. We can't see the light yet as we sit in the dark tomb, but we have hope that it is coming. This is faith...hanging on despite the absence of any evidence, trusting in the great unknown, living the mystery and waiting...always waiting for Easter morning.