If I were Jesus riding into Jerusalem, I would have been pretty agitated. Imagine entering the city where you’re about to be betrayed, abandoned, beaten, and killed. How could Jesus remain present to the crowds of joyous people shouting, “Hosanna!”? Before the week is through, another crowd will shout, “Crucify him.” Yet Jesus remains calm as he rides into Jerusalem and is welcomed by hundreds of palm-waving supporters. Yet he seemed to savour the moment.
How does he do that? How does anyone welcome the reality of their life without having the full reality of life rob them of joy? I got an answer to my question at Rob Des Cotes’ Soul Care Retreat.
Rob said, “This is how we tend to go through life.” Then he drew the diagram below (what I call the “me” stance):
“We have a relationship with something–an event, a relationship, a job, a goal, or a problem–and then we ask God to help us or bless what we’re doing. God is somewhere out there a distance from us,” he said.
Then Rob drew a second diagram (the “we” stance):
“Instead Jesus invites us to re-establish our relationship with God daily then, together with God, relate to everything else in our lives.”
Jesus was able to ride into Jerusalem and lovingly interact with the people around him because his primary relationship was not with his inevitable suffering and death. It was with God. The Lord God was holding Jesus’ right hand and telling him, “Do not fear, I myself am with you. We will face what is ahead together.”
When I think of addressing life this way–from a “we” stance instead of a “me” stance–I feel hopeful and light. I relax. I don’t have to be prepared for every possible outcome when the God of the universe is beside me. I can step back from whatever I’m dealing with and be more present to those around me.
It’s comforting to know I can turn to Jesus at any moment and say, “I’m glad you’re here.”
“For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you…
I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
– Isaiah 41:13,14 (NIV)
Questions for your Lenten pilgrimage:
- What is on your mind right now?
- How would it be different to address it with God ?