So, as we enter Holy Week I find myself processing the Lent conversation. What a powerful five weeks for me as I sat in this content each week...hopefully a meaningful five weeks for our people. I don't know a conversation that could be more disturbing and more edifying all at the same time. For those who weren't with us, our conversation revolved around five essential truths that we must experience and engage in order to join Jesus on the cross. Here are the truths in the order we tackled them:
1. Life is Hard
2. You Are Not Important
3. Your Life is Not About You
4. You Are Not in Control
5. You Are Going to Die
Pretty inspirational stuff, huh? Props to the Beggars Table community for jumping into and sticking with this teaching for five weeks.
I guess what I keep circling back to in my mind is the fact that these are, indeed, truths. In other words, each one of these are true for everyone, whether we acknowledge them or not. And we happen to live in a culture that adamantly denies each of them...hides from them, runs from them, protests them. And we happen to have the means (affluence) to do this. Yep, money (and health) make it possible to fool ourselves...for awhile at least.
But I really believe (as Jesus indicated by saying "you must die to find life") that true freedom and happiness is only attained by embracing each of these truths. I don't know from personal experience, but I am willing to bet that the impoverished, crippled, and terminally ill of this world actually have a head start on me in all of my security and comfort (and massive success lol). A head start in learning what true life consists of. The ability to engage life deeply because the lie that life is balanced on accomplishments, personality, and ego is easier for them to not buy into. Perhaps this is part of what we celebrate on Easter Sunday. New life as a brand new realization that our life is not about us.
May we all join Jesus this week in saying, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit". Amen.