Going All the Way
Apr 09, 2009 by Howard Baker | 0 Comments
Thanks to board member Patty Wolf for passing this along:
Going all the Way
Every year at this time, we have the opportunity to "go all the way" in reliving the events of Jesus' last days here on this earth. Like the first disciples we have the opportunity to choose, as best we can, to deepen our friendship with Christ by communing with him and learning from him as we walk each step of the way. At the beginning of this week we might ask, How will I be intentional about staying awake with Christ through all the events of this week? In the midst of leading others through Holy Week, where is that very private place where I can be present to Christ's suffering, learning the very personal lessons he has for me?
As we are intentional about seeking ways to walk with Christ through the events of this week, we are responding to his deep and consistent desire to be with those he loved-particularly during the time of his agony. This is an act of love and friendship with Christ. It is the gift of being present during the hardest and most unnerving part of his journey; we do it because he asks those he loves to remain near him and to stay with him, awake and alert. This is the gift of ourselves, which is the truest gift we have to give.
Let us pray together as we enter this Holy Week...
Lord Jesus Christ, prepare our hearts to walk with you the rest of the way. Help us to find ourselves in this part of your story and not run from the pain and the unanswerable questions contained within it. Draw us to sit with you at the Last Supper where you shared your heart so tenderly with your friends and also faced your betrayer honestly and without malice.
Help us to stay awake in the Garden of that Dark Night, as you wrestle with the death and dying that must take place in order for God's will to come forth. Give us the wisdom to know, as you did, when it is time to lay down our life so that some day we can take it up again.
Give us the grace to endure the pain of witnessing your humiliation and rejection so that we can more gracefully endure our own.
Help us to be as gut-wrenchingly honest as you were when you cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Grant us the courage to let go when it is time.
Grant us the patience to wait with you in the silence of death until you call forth the resurrection.
(By Ruth Haley Barton who is co-founder and president of the Transforming Center, a spiritual director, teacher and retreat leader.)