“Let that same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,…” (Philippians 5:1)
The tension of Palm Sunday, indeed all of Holy Week, never ceases to capture my attention. Beliefs, values and world views are collidingin this dramatic conclusion to the public ministry of Jesus: The reign of God in conflict with the principalities and powers of this world; the complete living, loving and dying of one offering a new paradigm of relationship built not upon power and domination but upon mercy, grace, justice and love; transformed and resurrected life preparing to burst forth from the place where the world sees only death; self interest giving way to concern for others.
In the Baptismal Covenant we are asked, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” We respond, “I will, with God’s help.” We ask God to help us embrace this “mind of Christ” in our manner of life so that we might live the servant life of Christ wisely, not as doormat but as disciple, not as victim but as witness, not as one who is manipulated, but as one who ministers. Prayer and discernment in the company of others can help us better comprehend the suitable servant role needed in specific and ever changing circumstances. Our baptismal ministry is linked to our Lord’s ministry. Beliefs, values, and world views continue to collide in the world in which we are called to carry on this servant love for the sake of the reconciliation of all things to God in Christ.
The drama of this “Holy Week” is in some way part of the drama of every week of our lives. If you are not already connected with a faith community, I invite you to find a local Episcopal Church near you where you can walk with Jesus this week in the company of other seekers. You can locate an Episcopal Church in Vermont by using the “Find a Church” Link in the upper left hand corner of our website www.diovermont.org
The invitation of Holy Week is to BE with Jesus – from table to cross to empty tomb. Be with him in that upper room. Be with him as he washes feet and breaks bread. Be with him when he prays. Be with him when he is betrayed with a kiss. Be with him when he is denied. Be with him when he is questioned. Be with him when he is cursed. Be with him when he is spit upon. Be with him when he is hit. Be with him when he is stripped. Be with him when he is mocked. Be with him when he is laughed at. Be with him when he hangs from the cross. Be with him when he gasps for breath. Be with him when he cries. Be with him when he dies.
And then, be with him in new and resurrected life. Let his story connect to your story. Let his journey connect to your journey.
Pray with me: Donkey riding, servant Christ, be our constant companion as we walk the way of the cross and seek to live faithful lives of servant ministry amidst the clash of values, beliefs and choices that confront us day after day. AMEN.