Prosser UMC

Prosser UMC
Please Join us for Sunday Morning Worship, 10:00 AM at 824 6th St, Prosser, WA 99350

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Holy Week

It is Holy Week.  Jesus has ridden into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, while people laid branches of trees and their own cloaks on the ground in front of him, calling out “Hosanna!,” which means “Save us!”  Jesus has spent time at the temple, teaching, and knocking over the tables of the money-lenders.  Judas Iscariot has become disillusioned with Jesus, and has agreed to lead the religious authorities to him.  Events lead inexorably to Thursday night—the Passover meal, a last supper together, questions, confusion, anguished prayer, betrayal, fear, the disciples scattered, denial, Friday’s trial, execution, death, burial in a tomb.
I don’t know about you, but my home is beginning to feel a bit like a tomb.  Sure, I get out in the yard to do some cleanup on these beautiful sunny days, and I take Buddy for rides to the Post Office or the church, and I talk to people on the phone.  But it feels different, because right now I’m not choosing to stay at home.  I’m doing so because it’s what I’ve been asked to do.  I am practicing obedience to authority.
I wonder if Jesus didn’t feel a bit like this at the beginning of his week.  He knew what was coming at the end of this trip to Jerusalem.  He had already warned his disciples about it, and even at the end, in the garden, he asked if this had to be the way.  I wonder if he felt this hemmed-in feeling as people were asking him to save them, knowing he would be doing that, but not in the way they were thinking he would.  Knowing his disciples would be confused, scared, and scattered.  Knowing that he would die a painful death.  But he was also practicing obedience to authority.
This has been a disturbing season of Lent.  We are used to being able to choose what we do in Lent—giving up ice cream, chocolate, or meat on Fridays, adding a new spiritual practice like journaling or using The Upper Room, or doing nothing for Lent.  But this year we’ve all been given a task that makes us uncomfortable—not being able to be, or worship, together.  We’ve become further hemmed in, entombed, by the “Stay at Home” order.  The experience of denial in Lent has been enforced upon us, in some ways making it a more conscious part of our daily life.  We have joined with Jesus in the loneliness, the apart-ness, of Holy Week.  We are practicing obedience to authority.  We may dislike it, but it is probably good to be experiencing it. 
This is not to say that God created the coronavirus so that we could have a more meaningful Lent.  A virus is a virus.  There is no “intention” behind it.  However, all of our experiences in life affect us at the spiritual level, as well as the physical, mental, and emotional levels.  It makes me wonder if this Lent, and our reflections upon it, will affect how we experience Lent for the rest of our lives.