Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I wish I knew the name of the artist of this print, but it is one that sums up the entirety of Holy Week for me. I can so totally identify with it, because it connects me to all the moments that the hero or heroine has to set his or her face before the moment of truth in every Western movie, and the moments I had to set my own face when I had to walk into my own valleys of the shadow of death. It's that moment before Gary Cooper walks into the street at noon. It's that moment when the occupants of the Alamo see the Mexican army approaching. It's that moment the occupants of United Airline Flight 93 must have felt as the plane descended. It's that moment the passengers of the Titanic know the ship wil sink.

However, what sets Jesus apart from this is we all have a habit of "going down swinging." Jesus knew, that what he had to do, "going down swinging" was not an option. He knew that even those closest to him could not possibly understand.

He knows that the same mob that will laud him and wave palms with him, in just a few days will spit and curse him. Fame is fleeting.

He knows his disciples will want to fight it out. I always can SO identify with Peter in the story. I can see me in a similar Peter-oid role had I been there. "Jesus, I will NOT let them take you. They'll take me down first." I would have done more than cut someone's ear off. Likewise, I identify with Peter's later fear. I've lived that one, and it still haunts me.

But in this rendition of the moments before Palm Sunday, I can feel Jesus' agony of being totally alone, and knowing it will be ugly. It's just him and the donkey, and I wonder if in that moment, he felt that even God was not there...just as later, at the crucifixion, even he, the Son of God, feels betrayed and forsaken by God the Father.

A lot of people I've known over the years question why we always do the Passion Gospel on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday was a joyful day...why do we "spoil" it with the Passion Gospel?

Honestly, I think its to remind all of us we have our own "High noons," and we must face them, knowing we may be defeated in one way or another. We have our own crosses to bear, and they can be painful. We may lose our life, either physically or emotionally. We may be taunted and jeered. We may find ourselves utterly alone, and the crowd saying we are wrong, we are fools, we are bad people.

We ride down off the mountain like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti Western to face judgement, our faces set, our lives ultimately not our control. The only control we have is our resolve.

This is the Passion--that moment before the chain of events that will unfold. Not the story, not the outcome. The Passion that lives in all of is is most alive in that moment where we decide we must do something, and take what comes.

This week, as Holy Week unfolds, the only moments that matter are this moment, and the Resurrection. The rest is all commentary.

6 comments:

Let the palm frans begin.

frawns? (sorry)

fronds? (Now you have me laughing on a serious post, you onery boy!)

Sorry, I can´t spell in two languages now...I don´t mean to make light of Palm Sunday and your post but it IS A FEAST DAY!

Abrazos,
Leonardo

Indeed it is, Leo! (and truthfully, it doesn't take much to get me to laughing, even when I'm trying to be serious...I'm just glad to have someone to blame, LOL!)

Quite evocative, KirkE.
High Noon, indeed.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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