Seasons of the Soul- Hope!
“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:22, NRSV)
Our world is broken and in need of repair. The journey we make this week through Holy Week is a journey filled with the drama of our human struggle for inner peace and well-being. We find there are competing perspectives that each claim to be the way to achieve that which we long for. On the one side, we have the attitude of power and coercion that demands we comply and conform to the norms and values of a world that is driven by fear, scarcity, and exclusivity. On the other side, we have the perspective of love and hope that invites us to respond to the world and to those around us with a sense of courage, abundance, and inclusion. The latter perspective is not as much about reaching for something as it is about receiving what is made available to us.
The Jewish and Roman authorities were all about power and control as they worked to eliminate the threat that Jesus and his teaching represented to their way of operating in the world. In a world where everyone and everything is a potential threat, we are more likely to react with force and with violence, often destroying the opportunity for something more fruitful to emerge. Jesus and his teachings were all about love and relationship as he offered all people the chance to see God as a friend and a guide instead of as the harsh taskmaster—as the religious authorities of his day promoted.
The real drama of Holy Week is how Jesus’ death and resurrection laid bare the ineffectiveness of power and violence to bring about any lasting change to our world. As long as we keep choosing the lesser path of control and coercion, we’ll continue to see the pathetic results of wars, of political divisions, of inequality, and the disintegration of our world. The real drama of Holy Week is how Jesus’ death and resurrection continue to be seeds of promise and hope for a world that is too stubborn to see that love is truly the answer. It's not loving that is self-seeking; instead, loving that is self-giving so that all may be served and all may be fed, and all may be healed, and all may be loved. ~Dale Cohen