Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holy Week

Oh, precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus.

We sang that in church on Palm Sunday. And I was struck by how much the blood of Jesus accomplished for us. And I wanted to cultivate a new gratitude for that. So I set out to hunker down for Holy Week, disconnect from social media. Cut down on distraction. Read Piper's The Passion of Jesus Christ. And focus. Focus on the blood of Jesus.

Even so, the skeptic in me wondered what terrible things were going to come along and steal away this warm, fuzzy plan by the end of the week. It was practically prophetic.

On Monday, my mom called. Kim had just passed away. Not quite friends, we were good acquaintances who reconnected after years, thanks to social media. Kim's parents and my parents are good, very good friends, even now. We've known each other since high school, attended the same church for a time. I think we even got married the same year; I remember her wedding. She had seven children; I had eleven. Only Kim got breast cancer.

Death stinks. Yes, for the Christian, death is gain. But death still stinks. Death is still the enemy.

And on the ensuing days...
I got my toes stepped on. Not just a nudge, either. A full-weighted, hobnail boot stomp. And I was hot.
I got into a discussion with a friend about doubters and atheists. She and I are both banging our heads on the proverbial wall and asking how those type of people could possibly come from gospel-saturated homes.
I got bogged down by a pending confrontation with a slipping soul. My heels are dug in, and I'm preparing for war...and Brett had to remind me not to make God small.

By Saturday, I was in a full-blown Bad Mood. I was still offended from Wednesday. I was frustrated with otherwise smart people who are capable of such dumb decisions about friends, life, and Truth. I'm an unwitting player in a war I only recently saw coming. And doggone it all, this is Holy Week, and this was supposed to be a time to meditate on the blood of Jesus. That was the plan.

I sat there, too grouchy to forgive, too grouchy to honestly care, definitely too grouchy to celebrate Easter. I simultaneously stewed over other people and wondered at all the blackness stirring in my own soul. And that's when I thought it:
Why did You bother dying for me anyway? What a waste.

Holy Week. I fell for it.
Like an idiotic Thomas Aquinas fangirl, I fell for it.
What a dolt.
As if.
As if there's a distinction between the sacred and the secular.
As if there's a Holy Week and fifty one other mundane ones.
As if the Resurrection was small enough to contain on one Sunday.
As if the victory of the Cross is inconsequential enough to confine to a feast day.

It's not that there is no Holy Week; it's that there is no week that's not holy. Every week is a holy week. Every hour of every day is to be lived to the glory of God. Every facet of man, his body, his spirit, his intellect, was broken in Eden and redeemed at Calvary.

Why did You die for me? I asked.
And just as fast, the answer came:
That's what the blood of Jesus is for.
It is a comfort to a grieving husband and his seven children.
It is a ransom for the doubter and the atheist.
It's for when you're unforgiving about being offended.
It's for when you're disdainful of the foolishness in others.
It's for when your soul is black and sludgy,
And this week or this day has been far from holy.

The blood of Jesus takes away the sting of death and the stain of sin.
And it deserves my gratitude every day and every week.
If I treat it like it deserves special attention on one day, then I dilute it on all the rest.

The blood of Jesus is the only thing that can get me through the Now and the Not Yet.

Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

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