Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Pilgrimage to the Cross Begins

Last night passed into this day midst a driving rain. The fast is on, and nature weeps with us. Our weeping, let us remember, provides to us what is most lacking. Just as the rains offer our summer-fall parched earth restoration of the life it needs.

Today we begin the pilgrimage to the cross and beyond. No mere Easter-clothes-shopping for those who choose this journey. These are days of repentance. These are days of asking for Christ's reign in our hearts, rather than our own.

O, how reluctantly we release the rule of "our" kingdom.

Humbling, Stunning Introduction
Tonight, I will bow before my fellow journeyers and pray. I will hear the words spoken to me: "Dust you are. And to dust you will return." Then I will speak them to my dearest friends in the world.

I don't like those words. They threaten me. I want to continue believing my flesh is immortal. But it is not.

I need this season of humility. I need this painful grace. Today I stand in the place I do each year...I don't understand well the gift of these days. But if my history is reliable, I will hurt and miss conveniences along a path into new life and strength. I will reach Good Friday, ready to admit my complicity in Jesus' dying.

We Do This Together
In ancient times, when armies were approaching Jerusalem, or when locusts had stolen their crops; when the young people of Israel had been taken captive to foreign lands, and God's people found themselves living as pagans--slaves to their own passions and refusing justice to the poor; a trumpet would sound, and the people would gather. They would declare a fast. They would sprinkle ashes on their heads to publicly testify to their need of repentance, and their desire for God's rescue and reign.

Surely today, where we live and where we lack God's evident presence, surely we can agree we need rescue! We do not approach Calvary alone, we come together and confess, fast and plead with God for his intervention in our living. We pray for our native countries. But first we pray for his church--his people everywhere!

We need renewal.


Zee said...

painful grace... that certainly describes it so good...

thanks for encouragement, David. you are a blessing.

david said...

As are you, Zee. Thanks. Already prayed for you, your mother, your cousin and pastor early this morning.