So we waved our pine branches found in the woods — no palm fronds here on the farm — and sang our Hosanna! Hosanna! — literally Save Us! Save us! Because here we pushing through these last days of a global pandemic believing God can literally save us all in the realest ways, even now.
If our soul is safe, all is safe.
I try to keep the news a bit at bay, but most of our grown kids children sit down at our dinner table eager to slice and dice the headlines like they are ready cut up their pork chops, savor what is good, and then spit out any bones.
While they talk about how the news is this week, I light the candles on our Lent wreath.
It’s is the beginning of the Holiest Week of the year.
Whatever numbers, news, headline peaks this week, we can stay communing with Him on an interior mountain peak.
And it’s still true in many places around the world, there are many still shuttered behind closed doors, praying for the angel of death to pass over us.
This is the week too, all around the world, we prepare all that we need to prepare a Passover meal.
I prepare, rubbing marinate into lamb, blood ponding on plate, my hand massaging the lamb, fingers pressing out more of that impossible red, all the necessary essence of Easter, all very non-Hallmark.
And the nostrils fill with this scent of blood and wretched stench of sin, and this heart beating in my chest’s hurting for the only God whose wild love had Him pass over us by splaying open His own heart, by tearing open a vein and becoming a lamb dragged to the slaughter without bleating or begging…
to cleanse the bloody mess of all those who’ve fallen, fallen behind, fallen in a thousand ways.
At the beginning of Holy Week, this the scarlet hope that’s stained deep into skin.
After a year of losses, this Lent asks us to embrace the depths of loss — and embrace all of the Hope of God.
Whatever we are facing this season, this Lent, this end of one surreal year, Hope is actually here:
No matter how deep our waters, the waves won’t pass over us, because with Jesus, there is now only passing through.
I move the figurine of Jesus carrying the cross forward on the Lenten wreath.
His back’s bent, His shoulders bearing, His heart breaking. Jesus never stops crying with us. I linger, memorize Jesus’ cross-carrying silhouette.
Whatever cross we’re carrying, it grows light when we let Jesus carry us.
However hard this week is, this was Jesus’ hard week & He overcame & if we come to Him, we can too.
To Set a Simple Table for a Christian Passover:
1. matzah (or Wholewheat Unleavened Bread)
2. juice of the vine (wine, grape juice, non-alcoholic wine)
3. sprigs of lush green parsley
4. horseradish (bitter herbs)
5. chopped apples and raisins (called haroset)
6. heavy shank bone of lamb
7. boiled egg
8. small dish of salted water
Make it a Simple Menu:
And for dessert: New Life