Thursday, April 21, 2011

Secret Ambition

So today, it begins. the Three Days which are one- the Triduum. Reaching from tonight on Holy Thursday, or the time of the Last Supper, to Sunday Morning, when we walk to the tomb to see the master has already risen! It's an emotional time in the Church indeed, from the deep sorrow of Good Friday, to the sheer joy of Easter Sunday.

I think this is one of the best times of the year to think about Jesus and his life. his ministry. No one since him have aimed to accomplish as much in a 33 year lifespan as he did. To be honest, most people who only live to be 33 these days die for something important. Suicide, murder, car accidents or gang violence are hardly as honorable as dying for the sins of the world. But today we have missionaries who lay their lives on the line in foreign countries, channeling that Sacrificial Love Christ preached. THEY are the ones who die for honorable causes and beliefs.

So what did Christ do in those 33 years of his life? How did he perceive them? Did he see them through his Father's Eyes, as a mere stroke of the paintbrush in the picture of the world's story? Or did he see them like we humans do? For me, 33 years of life seems like a pretty long time. It's a little over TWICE my current age! But to those who have lived 40, 49 (happy birthday Mrs. Nalle!), or 70 years, 33 probably seems like only a fraction of a lifetime.

 We  all know how humbly Christ began in this world. Born in a stable in the country side, it was humble even for his culture at that time. But he had something even better than little "It's a boy!" cards announce his birth to the world; he had legions of angels singing his praises, and a star that could be seen for thousands of miles around. After his birth, we black out for a while. During his adolescence, I think he probably lived an average life. He played in the streets with the other boys, went to Temple and Synagogue like any good Jewish boy, and learned the rules of the road in Carpentry.

But we all know Jesus started making ripples on the water of society in his last 3 years of life, teaching, gathering a group of followers, and ultimately resulting in his savage torture and crucifixion.

Michael W. Smith once wrote a song called "Secret Ambition." It talked about the purpose Jesus knew he was to serve on earth, and that no one knew it, let alone what the results would be. In a series of little reflections, singer Matt Maher talked about the meaning of Palms in Christ's time. He explained they were a sign of rebellion, and a sign, more importantly, that you supported rebellion. When the Jews waved their palms in front of Jesus, they weren't saying they believed he was the Messiah or the Savior or any of that.

They were saying they wanted him to overthrow the Romans.

I wonder, if I had been there, in the streets of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and saw Jesus' gentle gaze as he rode down the streets on a borrowed mule, would I have seen a rebel leader in a rabbi's skin, or would I have seen something inexplicable, something holy, emanating from him?

The Passion is beginning. Jesus is sitting down to table. What will you see in him?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Caleb. I just shared your post with my husband. Kudos from both of us!!