Lenten Devotion - day 10
You have a lot on your plate. More than usual. But doesn’t life feel like a lot most of the time? Living isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. There is so much we wish could exist forever.
Nothing in this universe can exist forever of course. If it could we would take it for granted anyway. We know this is true because we take plenty of things for granted thinking they’ll always be there. They won’t. Everything changes. Lent is about changing.
The disciples never understood that Jesus would die. After the cross and resurrection, they remembered that he had said it would happen. And of course they didn’t understand him. How could anyone live so beautifully free if they knew a terrible death awaited them?
And he was free. Free to love. Free to forgive. Free to make God bigger than any thought possible. Free to party at weddings, and free to cry at funerals. Free to fully experience each moment. Free to notice what others didn’t notice. Free to make clean what others said was unclean. I’ll stop. You get the point.
But it’s what he did to others with his freedom. Those who followed him felt like God was in their midst in a way the world had never experienced. They failed to realize what I fail to realize, what we all fail to realize, everything changes. Whether it be a sudden change, or a gradual change, give time long enough and nothing is the same. So they thought it would last forever.
He talked about God, but it was his utter trust in God that arrested people the most. He believed and no one who ever encountered him doubted that. Some trusted that God would do the impossible in Jesus’ midst; and many say God often did. So maybe that is why they never understood him when he said terrible things would come. Maybe they thought, with him this world will go on forever.
And he believed that death wasn’t the end either. And I don’t know what I think of heaven or hell or anything else really. But he believed death wasn’t the end, and while there are those who are happy to say the resurrection is a metaphor, I’m not one. Something happened. Something changed those bumbling, stumbling disciples. They became ten times the people they were before. And they were never the same.
Tradition says that 10 of the 12 apostles were martyred. The two who weren’t were Judas and John. Judas suffered in his own way. John got to suffer in a different way. He got to witness to their deaths and live. But none of them were afraid anymore. That’s the change they had. They weren’t afraid.
My son told me he was afraid of the future today. I know a lot of his age are. I know that the future may not be good—which is just another way of saying I have no idea. But, I do know that this journey of Lent is something those original disciples experienced first hand. It left them unafraid. Jesus was unafraid. The worst things came. I want for him not to be afraid, so he can meet the world and give his best no matter what. I want to not be afraid too.
To live without fear is to be free. Free to love. Free to forgive. Free to make God bigger than any thought possible. Free to party at weddings, and free to cry at funerals. Free to fully experience each moment. Free to notice what others don’t notice. Free to make clean what others say is unclean. I’ll stop. You get the point. Don’t be afraid. Be free.
Until tomorrow my friend,