Aimed at providing encouragement for individuals, especially Christians, going through the tragic experience of divorce. Some readers are the ones who are actually divorcing and so the intent is to help them find hope through the postings in the blog and access to the Finding God in the Seasons of Divorce book.
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Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Challenge of Holy Week
TAKE IT AS IT IS
Were you in church today
for Palm Sunday?We were. Visitors at a new church it was a nice morning with a good feel and a fresh challenge to the participants.
Wallace Smith, the pastor, did a neat little presentation designed to help the worshipers get into the excitement of the original Palm Sunday experience. Hosannas, palm leaves and
garments lain on the altar by the participants. Wallace spoke as a member of the disciples and guided us through some
of the emotions of the day.
really struck me occurred toward the end of the service, as he was guiding us
to the discussion sheets in our hands, he made a comment about Holy Week, and
especially that first Holy Week. Wallace
said (in my paraphrase):
“Holy Week includes not only the excitement and joy
of Palm Sunday, but also the struggle, sorrow and uncertainties that came on
Thursday night and Friday… and yet the whole range of experience all came
together as part of the plan.”
he went on, there was also the awareness that the same is true of any person
following Christ…it isn't always the joyful Hosanna moments, but sometimes we
experience the moments of panic, uncertainty and hardship, still part of the
Not to run it into the
ground, but what in your life is NOT that way?
When we get married, we never marry a perfect person, only another human
being like ourselves, one who has faults and makes mistakes. We experience the joy of the wedding day and
the adventures of a honeymoon trip, but when we get home, somebody still has to
take out the garbage and scrub the toilets!
Even the experience of having children, which is sometimes used as an
illustration in the Bible, is a mixture of hardship and pain, followed by joy
and wonder. Of course, later on, they
become teenagers, which on it's own has a mixture of joy, wonder and challenges.
Our jobs, our families,
our yards, our churches, our relationships….almost everything in life is a mix
of the exciting and wonderful things blended with the difficult or even troubling
The same is even true in the midst
of a divorce or as we put life together afterwards. When one comes out of a torturously bad
marriage, some of the divorce process can feel very freeing, but there are moments every day, if not every hour, that can be overwhelmingly hard.
Reflecting on all this
makes me remember the Serenity Prayer that Reinhold Niebuhr wrote…the part that
all too often gets left out of the middle that goes like this:
one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
We may wish things were
always rosy, or that something that is very hard would not be part of our
lives, but to be at peace with God and ourselves, we need to take the world,
our marriages, our spouses and children, our jobs…to take our world as it is,
not as we wish it was. God will make
things right later on, but for now, it is just the way things are, and God
promises to help us through it all.
of my college professors, Michael Tweedt, once pointed out that mountaintop
experiences would not be so incredible to us if we didn't also spend times down
in the valleys of life. Personally, I
hate the valleys, but it is part of how things are.
Thanks Wallace, for helping me remember that
the ups and downs of my life were embedded and paralleled in the last week of
Jesus’ life on earth.