Mr. S. and I attended a beautiful wedding this weekend. It was held on Saturday, the eve of Palm Sunday. This wasn’t lost on the preacher. Palm Sunday: a day of praise and celebration and the joy of a community unified behind a Savior. And the change in just a matter of days was dramatic: betrayal, hearts and faces turned the opposite direction and deep, dark despair.
Holy Week: the last week of Lent, the week leading up to Easter. A week of marked, pointed, heavy shifts.
What fickle, fickle hearts and souls we have.
We do it to our Savior. How easy it is to worship freely when life is glorious . . . when work is challenging and fun, when friends are many and close, when our love lives seem like a fairytale and success is firmly within reach. And how much difficult it is to get on our knees and fold our hands when life is struggle after struggle . . . when work is tough or we’re not working at all, when friends (if any) are distant, when illness plagues our bodies and minds, when we are simply lonely.
Oh, the juxtaposition. And that’s Holy Week: a week to praise God . . . a week to praise Him no matter what. A week to praise Him in the little joys and little trials. A week to praise Him in the big successes and insurmountable valleys. A week to praise Him in the light of the sun and in the darkness of rainclouds. This, a model for what life perhaps can look like, when we humble our hearts in it all.
No matter who we are, no matter how life feels, our God is a strong God. A God strong enough to love us at our worst and at our best. A God strong enough to send Jesus, a God strong enough to forgive it all. A God who is strong so we don’t have to be. As the familiar song goes, we are weak, but He is strong.
This strength comes to life in Holy Week. It is a week beginning and ending in celebration, with a whole lot of struggle in between. Much like our lives, yes? Praising throughout, surrendering constantly, holding on tightly no matter what.
By the way, friends, thanks for your grace in the tail end of last week. Traveling, with limited Internet . . . plus, honestly, I needed to be present where I was and not bury my face in the computer. It was good for my soul. Back to blogging on the regular now