This Is My Week

This is it–our big week in the church. We started yesterday waving palms and celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the crowds not realizing that the way Jesus would save them would actually be by dying for them. Then on Thursday we will celebrate our servant King, giving us his body and blood in the last supper. Friday is the day we call “good,” because of the goodness of Jesus’ death for us, and then it’s Easter. Where early in the morning, the women arrived at the tomb to find it empty. He is not here, he is risen, the angel told them.
So why come? As my kids say, we’re going to church HOW many times this week?!!! Why?
One of the things I’ve been noticing about the gospel of Matthew is how he writes the story of Jesus in sort of a “oh, NOW I get it” fashion. By that I mean, he will take the stories from the Hebrew Bible that he likely learned as a child and use them to understand who Jesus was and what he did.
It is sort of like when you hear a story about your grandma doing something that was a bit quirky that you do and all of the sudden it is like a light bulb goes off in your head and you get why you are like how you are.
This year, the way I’m thinking about Holy Week is that it help me understand who I am, what the world is like, and what God has to say about it.
I look to the wrong things for help all the time. I cheer for something, expecting it to change my life in some way, and it is the wrong thing. Like the people thinking Jesus was going to ride in and defeat the Romans. When really, what needed to be defeated was the way all of us don’t get it and the way we all hurt each other and let each other down, and don’t take care of the least among us.
But we feel alone in this world. God seems absent most of the time. So he took some plain old ordinary bread and wine and said, “You know what? I’m going to make myself available to you in these things. I won’t leave you alone in the world. Through my spirit I will be with you.”
But before he could do that, he had to die. We let it happen. I too would have cried out for him to be crucified because the thing is, I like being in charge of my own life, thank you. I like being my own god. And every time I go to that Good Friday service I think about how I have let God down. How I have let him down by letting the people in my life down.
But every time I sin, Jesus keeps forgiving me. He dies for me again and again. And I can only say Alleluia to that. Like we say to each other Easter morning. What does Jesus say to our no? He is risen. He is risen indeed.
St. Augustine said that there is no such thing as old faith. He said that you have to start your relationship with God over from the beginning, every day.
I have heard these stories again and again. But this year, I’m putting myself in them. Because Jesus died for me. And every day when he forgives me, he dies for me again. This is my week. This is my story.
And guess what? It is yours, too. So come and hear it again.

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