Last week as I was driving onto campus, the radio station happened to play Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” As I fought the fatigue of my Monday morning commute, I couldn’t help but readjust my attitude to realize the great privilege I have had in pursuing seminary. To be certain, the journey has not been easy nor without its uncertainty, but the neither has Willie’s, right?
I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t some churches and pastors who have been in this field much longer than I have who are experiencing the same thing this Holy Week. Here we are, on the road again to the cross, how can I make this fresh to my congregation? How can I experience anew the wonder of the cross?
Maybe, if we approach the road to the cross with the anticipation that is evident in Willie’s voice as he sings about going on tour again, our passion for the Passion of Christ would be revived. Or perhaps if we had a band of other minister with which we were more willing to travel this journey of Holy Week with, our eyes would be open to the creative power of being in fellowship with others.
As the weather changes, I can’t help but be reminded of the summer we spent at my grandmother’s pool. I can remember some Springs that were so warm that my grandfather would open the pool on Easter Sunday. The brave souls that were the grandchildren would timidly creep to the edge of the pool and put their toes in to taste the water.
“Woahhh! That’s coooold!” Someone would shout. With this declaration some would fade to their towels and the chairs around the pool explaining, “I am not going in there!” Inevitably, the next stage would be for someone to jump in from the diving board. As he or she (but let’s be honest, this was usually one of my boy cousins) would emerge, he would declare, “It’s not thaaaat cold. You get used to it.”
I can’t help but think about this as I enter my first Holy Week as a pastor.
There is a timidity to this journey for me. There is a sense that I am dipping my toe into the holy healing powers of the story of redemption to share with others. I am the cannon baller who jumps in first and invites others to dive in to experience the depth and the refreshment of the healing waters of this Holy Week.
Let us walk where Jesus walked. Let us see what others saw as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. Let us feel what the community felt. Let us hope with them and grieve with them. Let us feel hopeless as we watch Jesus being arrested, being beaten, and being crucified.
Come let us follow Christ as he journeys towards the cross.