Thursday, 2 April 2015

Holy Week Reflection: Disappointments

They fled from the city - or if they stayed it was more to do with betrayal and denial than support.

Disappointment was in the air.  These friends of Jesus must have disappointed him. They were his travelling companions with whom he had shared more than anyone else, both behind the scenes sharing and the up front stage presentations.  But now many of them were no where to be seen.

But he was probably their biggest disappointment.   The cross seems so messy and final.  A humiliating end to what they thought was a new era.  Not for them the knowledge that Easter would eventually have a Sunday as well as a Friday.

We still don't like too much mess in the Church.  Perhaps we've never been good at coping with mistakes and picking up from failure.  The worst response is to spiritualise everything rather than face our stories with honesty.

And in this Easter story isn't there also a hint of 'Disappointment with God'.  It comes closest in that heart felt plea from the cross, Jesus' cry of dereliction: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

In the tradition of 'The Stations of The Cross' there are two entitled: Jesus falls.  In other words his burden, the crossbeam, is too much - the first time round prompting the ordering of Simon of Cyrene to lend assistance.

Do we remember our first and second falls? Do we remember when first we were conscious of disillusionment?  Of waking up to the real me, the real Church, the real God, the real life.  Politicians call it: Managing expectations!

Maybe too it's part of any celebration with a zero.  20 years at work, 40 years of marriage, 80 years of age - they all prompt the question: how did we manage our disillusionments?  Did they crush us, inform us or mold us?

So looking to the cross this day I recall that in being surrounded by so many disappointments Jesus:
...responds to violence with peace
...cries dereliction with honesty
...finds strength to forgive and go on loving.

In that I hear the whisper of God and pray that my disappointments will lead, bit by bit, not to me falling over and staying on the ground but 'falling upwards'- so that I keep on walking despite and, maybe even because of, the disillusionment I discover along the way.

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