Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the sound of cheers and then led out with jeers.
They raised him up on a colt and then they raised him on the Cross.
He was bound to the purposes of God being called a prophet and then bound to a tree between two criminals.
They laid garments at his feet and then watched while soldiers gambled for the shirt of his back.
It all began with a Hallelujah and then ended with a Crucify him.
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer
One of my favorite writers is Anne Lamott. Her writing often captures my feelings and puts them into words that I can use. My top3 for the week are quotes from her book Hallelujah Anyway that made me stop and think this week.
#1 – Fear and trauma can prevent our growth in the Micah 6:8 themes of justice, mercy (forgiveness), and humility.
If we are not careful, times of trial cuts off our awareness that justice, mercy and humility are what God calls us to and are the very postures and practices God uses to free us from fear and heal us from trauma.
To stay soft we need to prayer, read Scripture, and to do this together when possible. That becomes the difficult part in this time of isolation. Now is the time to shed any objections to technology in your life – at least in terms of keeping us connected. The real trick is using it to stay connected and not using it to distance ourselves in the rabbit hole of social media, newsfeeds, constantly checking emails, etc, etc. Trauma and fear bring with it the need for release and relief. Choose positive, life-giving, densely nourishing for your soul verses negative, life-sucking, no nourishment for your soul at all costs.
#2 – The Soul rejoices in hearing what it already knows.
I honestly am out of things to say…no, really. I have said it all and said it again over these past two weeks. I have been struggling with the insecurity that people are tired of hearing from me and hearing the same words / thoughts / themes. I hope that isn’t too self-revealing. But it is the truth.
It brightened my heart to be reminded that it does us good to hear what we already know. To be reminded of God’s truth over and over never grows old and is what brings us hope.
So, I’ll continue do just that.
God’s words never grow old, out of date, or unwelcome.
#3 – Do you want a generous heart or do you want to be right?
So many opportunities to say “that’s not what I said” or “that was in the last three email updates” over the past two weeks. Such a good corrective for me today to know that being right is not what I’m after but being a generous presence. I’m not saying that truth doesn’t matter. But often it isn’t the truth we are after but being right and respected by others at all costs, especially at the costs of others.