Friday, April 10, 2009

Perhaps as it should be

While the few of us gathered to remember Maundy Thursday. . .

the rest of the world went on with hardly a notice. Between baseball, Thursday night television, and the Britney Spears tour landing in Tacoma, I'm certain very few people truly paused to remember this holy night; just as, in the big scheme of things, many more will enjoy a nice Sunday of sleeping in, late breakfast, and basketball on the telly than will be showing up for cold sunrise services, for Easter celebrations.

It does seem striking, when you stop to think about it. The remnant gathered to repeat ancient texts dealing with betrayal ("Is it I, Lord?") and death, to sing songs that are slow and deep ("What wondrous love is this, O my soul?"), to quietly ponder this sacrificial death 2000 years ago. . .

While thousands upon thousands spend their hard-earned money to go sit through a couple hours of Britney Spears caterwauling and prancing, and actually somehow believe that is time well-spent.

I suppose that's the way it should be, though. Jesus has always drawn the few and the not-so-proud, while the world runs away with the masses. Jesus continually drew his circle smaller, pushing the level higher and higher until most left him, saying "this is too hard - who can accept this?" Jesus was never about shows and special effects for the purpose of drawing a crowd. Jesus simply did what he had to do. He died for you and he died for me. He even died for Britney Spears.

We who serve him would be wise to remember this lesson: At any given moment, Jesus is never the most popular guy in the room; at any given moment, those who serve Jesus are the minority group reciting ancient texts and muttering about the deepest things of life, while the crowds are chasing after the ever-shifting winds of popularity and success. Our Savior started with a crowd; he ended up alone on a tomb. And he calls us to the same.

Happy Good Friday, everybody.

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