Author: Linda Kowatch
Today we find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week. Just two days ago we celebrated Palm Sunday as Jesus entered Jerusalem under the triumphal cheers of “Hosanna!” Most of us know some of the other significant events that happened during Jesus’ last week on this earth. He had a final meal with his disciples. A child of God betrayed him. He prayed for God to remove his impending death. Three of his disciples were not able to keep vigil as he prayed. The wisdom of the world put him on trial. He was sentenced to death in spite of his innocence. On Friday of that week Jesus carried the cross on which he would be executed through the streets of the city that just a few days earlier had celebrated him. They crucified him. His loved ones took his body, said their goodbyes and placed him in a tomb. All of his loved ones and followers were left grieving and filled with anger, fear, loneliness, sadness and confusion. They were without words to express their pain and grief.
Many of us are experiencing these same emotions after the horrific shooting at a grocery store in our own hometown. It all is too much. As I try to make meaning out of what happened, I can’t. There is no good reason for this to happen. My own wisdom fails me. It is then that God gently comes along beside me and reminds me, “I am here. I understand your pain. My innocent son was taken too soon. Just as your tears fall, I am here wiping them from your face. I will stay with you through your tears and beyond. I will send others to support you and express my love. And when you are ready, I want to remind you that the story doesn’t end here. Easter is coming. I love you.”
Each act of malevolence in this world does incredible harm and that harm is compounded and grows into more acts of malevolence. But the story does not end here. Each act of benevolence releases love and is compounded and grows more acts of benevolence. This is a constant reminder to me that because God so loved the world, including me, I am then able to love God and love all of creation. When I act in love, it has the power to grow more acts of love. I must strive to live in the presence of God’s love so that I am empowered to love others. I release love when I am present with others. I release love when I fight for justice. I release love when I love those whom the world has chosen not to love. Each tiny act done in love releases love into the world and it has the potential to grow exponentially.
Gracious God, As we travel through Holy Week may we be reminded of Your act of love for us in Christ. As we are filled with Your love may we be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to love You and all of your children and creation. Amen.