3.28.2013

The Emotional Ride of Holy Week :: Pierced by the Lows of Maundy Thursday

It may or may not surprise you to know that I keep a lot of things hidden deep within.  I suppose we all do and it's often healthy and appropriate.  However, sometimes I catch my husband gazing thoughtfully at me and I know that he's trying to decipher me.  Depending on my mood, I will help him or bury deeper.  I don't envy him.

This Holy week is a time of extreme highs and extreme lows.  Most of the time, I keep myself on the surface level and focus on the excitement of kids and Easter baskets.  The pagan mixed with the religious calendar makes no sense, but it's my culture and I still love it.

However, even someone as crass as myself has a penetrable armor.  For me, Cindy Berry's choral arrangement of Cup of Sorrow is an arrow straight into my heart.  The first time we practiced it for Maundy Thursday, tears poured down my face as my quivering lips attempted to form the words.

Tonight when we sang in front of the congregation, I bolstered my armor and tried valiantly to keep my thoughts from drifting down that dark road.

This Holy Week, I invite you to join me in reflecting upon these lyrics:
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus knelt to pray, deeply distressed and troubled, knowing the price He would have to pay.   
This cup of sorrow, this cup of suffering, He would not choose it for His own, to bear the crushing weight of the sins of the world.. to suffer and die alone. 
He prayed, "Father, take this cup if there could be another way.  My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow as I lift My voice to pray.  Yet not My will but Thine be done; all glory be to You alone.  Not My will but Thine be done."
He had known that this time would come, and, as He prayed in agony, He chose the path to Calvary because of His love for me, His love for me. 
"Father, take this cup if there could be another way.  My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow as I lift My voice to pray.  Yet not My will but Thine be done; all glory be to You alone.  Not My will but Thine be done.  Not My will but Thine be done.

Like an angry child, I want to refuse these truths.  I want MY way.  I want to scream and cry and curse.  And yet, I am His child and for me, he accepted that cup of sorrow, that cup of suffering.  What a difficult thing to grapple with on this dark night.

Tonight I worshiped with my church family and felt the weight of our worries, illnesses, griefs and shames.

Tonight I pray mostly for my friends, my peers, with cancer:  Cynthia (almost one year post treatment!) and Ally.

Tonight I will reflect on the abundant gifts present in my life, none of them as a result of MY WAY, but all made possible because of His love for me.

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