Monday of Holy Week
March 29, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 27 which is a cry for help from one who is confident of God’s care.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;Psalm 27:1
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
Despite these verses, the psalmist obviously is afraid, otherwise why pray? As we begin Holy Week, we might imagine Jesus voicing such a prayer. Confident of the Father’s participation in his life, Jesus nevertheless must face daunting realities with courage – but not without fear.
We can learn so much from Jesus in this.
It is a very unusual, and perhaps non-existent, person who has no fears. We all fear something… maybe many things. It is human to fear that which we cannot see, control, or withstand. Even the one touting his great fearlessness is likely afraid of being seen as weak.
What Jesus teaches us is not to let our faith, love and hope be dominated by fear; rather, to engage our lives courageously with these three virtues despite our normal human fears. In so doing, we become the person God hopes for us to be, just as Jesus did.
The triumph is in resisting that domination, not in being fearless. Nelson Mandela has written, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
I think Jesus was afraid during these final days of his life, but he pushed through to the truth of God’s Will for his life. We can ask Jesus to help us in our fears by praying as he might have with Psalm 27:
You are my light and my salvationtransliteration of Psalm 27 by Christine Robinson
Whom then shall I fear?
You are the strength of my life
of what shall I be afraid?
Trials, enemies, changes, difficulties—
they rise up and they resolve
I will trust you
I will wait for you
I will seek you.
Poetry: from T.S. Eliot, Four Quartet, East Coker
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away--
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing--
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Music: Be Still My Soul – Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel, born 1697