Here we are, smack dab in the middle of Holy Week. What do you find yourself doing? Are you cleaning your house, making beds, doing laundry, going to work, cooking dinner, spending time with your children, or parents, or loved ones? Are you going through your normal routine?
This is what we do every day of the year, isn’t it? And yet, this week is a week like no other. This week is the week we understand that changed the world. This week is a week that was anything but routine. We rarely let anything intrude on the ordinariness of our lives. Its just not how we live. We live for our routines and habits. We like it that way, its safe and comfortable.
This week, however, was anything but routine, or ordinary, or safe, or comfortable for Jesus. This is the week Jesus will acknowledge the gravity of what lay before him. This is the week where Jesus will gather his friends and followers for a new kind of meal. Not the routine passover meal, but a new meal, with new meaning. Jesus will gather them in an upper room where as they share a very familiar ritual, one they had been taught from childhood, they came to understand it in a very new way. The bread will be broken, but in its breaking they will come to understand Jesus was calling them to be broken for the world. The cup will be shared, but in its sharing Jesus will be calling them to share their lives and witness with everyone else. Jesus will wash their feet so they can come to understand real leadership comes from serving, not being served. Jesus will take them to a garden to pray. This will not be an ordinary, routine prayer, but a prayer of submission. Jesus will ask for reprieve from what lay ahead, but submits to whatever was before him if it will show the world a new way to live. The soldiers will come, the betrayer will come, Jesus will be arrested and taken. Jesus will be tried, and beaten, and mocked, and ultimately killed.
This is a week we should find time to remember what Jesus went through to show us how to love. Jesus could have gone anywhere but Jerusalem, but he came to the epicenter of where love was needed most. Jesus could have chosen to avoid the garden, but he went there knowing his love was needed there. Jesus could have avoided an arrest, a trial, a mockery, an execution, but his love for you and me would dictate where he would be.
Lest we treat today and this week as ordinary, we should remind ourselves it was anything but ordinary for Jesus.
Its not an ordinary week. There’s nothing routine about it. Yes, we come to this week every year. Yes, we observe and mark this time. Maybe we should be more insistent that this week be remembered for the full gravity it implies. What this week implies is we are to follow Jesus and love as he has loved. We are to follow Jesus in loving others, no matter what it takes. We are to follow Jesus with our own burdens, our own cross. We are to follow Jesus loving all the way.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,