Lots of people have said to me … ‘it’s your busy time isn’t it?’ Strangely … despite being ‘available’ to support a few churches I have not been ‘booked’ at all over the Easter period. I’m not complaining, as that does mean I can be available for people who do not cross the church threshold … but nevertheless it will be a little strange not actually leading anything or preaching in a church building this Easter.
Last year I preached and was thinking about vulnerability. I don”t think my outlook has changed much a year on … and the freedom from church stuff this Easter will mean I can stay in this vulnerability state for longer as I hang out in places where people might want to talk. I’ve come to find that there is nothing quite like a festival to get people asking questions. With that in mind I look forward to the pub on Friday evening.
If I am honest …. I am no more than meandering into this Holy Week …. and I meander with a sense of raw vulnerability and fear for what may happen both now, in the immediate future and the long term. I meander with the full knowledge that I am not in control … and in a sense it is right that I am not in control … and not having control means there is a need to trust both God and others …. and that is where I find myself today.
But I do not sit in vulnerability alone.
There is more.
So much more!
If this Holy Week brings anything to my mind … it brings grace.
“Grace sets the Christian faith apart from every other world religion. What is grace? Simply put, grace is God’s unmerited favor. You cannot earn grace; you cannot do anything to deserve grace. It is simply God doing something for you with no strings attached. God’s grace is solely motivated by love: deep, abiding, unconditional, sacrificial love.” Warren Wiersbe
For me … I am seeing more and more than everything … totally everything … comes back to grace. God’s unconditional love and acceptance really is that …. unconditional and total!
Some will try to tell you this Holy Week that you need to jump through certain hoops, believe particular things or behave in specific ways …. don’t believe them … they are wrong …. that’s rules … not grace …
This Holy Week is a good opportunity to focus on grace … that deep abiding unconditional no strings attached love that God has for you … seasoned through the cross, matured through the trip to hell, and available to us through Christ bursting out of the earth …
Holy Week … vulnerability …. grace …. that is all.