Tuesday of Holy Week

I tell you solemnly, one of you will betray me.  John 13

Each year, the journey of Holy Week begins anew, no matter how many times we’ve traveled it in the past. And each year, we have examples of human life in a condensed time frame.

On Sunday, we had wild celebrations, Monday’s gospel gave an example of human jealousy over the acclamations Jesus received, and today we have betrayal.

I’ve read or heard many theories of who Judas was, why he did what he did. There’s no sure answer to that except to note that the story of Judas appears in the synoptic gospels as well as the Gospel of John. And so, from that, we must surmise that the experience with Judas happened regardless of why.

But betrayal comes in many ways to Jesus just as it comes to us. Peter betrays – Peter the Rock who is strong and confident. Martha and Mary, the sisters who love Jesus, each betray when they doesn’t trust Jesus’ actions. The people Jesus heals betray when they don’t thank him or when they return to their previous lives and ways.

Betrayal. It comes to each of us in all ways and in many situations. When we use anger that hurts someone else, we betray the Christ Consciousness. When we get frustrated and fearful at work or the lack of work, we betray our Christ Consciousness. When we refuse to help someone, we betray our Christ Consciousness. In little ways and big, we betray the injunction to love one another, to be at peace. We betray the Christ Consciousness when we worry or retreat from conscious behavior. We betray our Christ Consciousness when we judge another’s actions.

Observe your journey this week. How do you, how do I, how do all of us betray in large ways and small? How do we reconcile ourselves to our self? How do we learn to trust the journey? Psalm 71 for today reads, “In you I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; incline your ear to me and save me.” Are we “saved” from our fears when we live consciously in the Christ Consciousness?

This week, become conscious of all your actions and reactions, your emotions and your experiences.  

Lent and Holy Week give us a concentrated period of time to examine our lives, to release that which causes our darkness, to prepare once more for a rebirth into a new way of thinking, breathing, and living.

Take these days and prepare for rebirth.

The Balancing Dance

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.     Ezekiel 37

The Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we to do,” they said, “with this man performing all sorts of signs? If we let him go on like this, the whole world will believe in him. Then the Romans will come in and sweep away our sanctuary and our nation.” From that day onward there was a plan afoot to kill him. In consequence, Jesus no longer moved about freely. he withdrew instead to a town called Ephraim in the region near the desert.       John 11 

These are the readings that lead us into Palm Sunday and the beginning of a holy week that includes Palm Sunday, the First Day of Passover, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. The Jewish Passover and the Christian Holy Week are both set by the season and tides of a Full Moon.

And yet, there’s been a historical battle between Christians and Jews for eons. God promises a covenant of peace to humans, but humans can’t seem to return the promise. Nations live in the whipsaw of war and peace; humans live in the whipsaw of anger and acceptance.

In short, I’m thinking about killing and peace this morning. And I’m wondering how all the conflicting messages fit together. How is it that God’s promises have led to so much killing? Life on earth is built on killing: plants, animals, and humans kill and are killed. We are a people who kill to survive and we are a people who yearn for peace.

In the reading from Ezekiel, God promises a covenant of peace to the Israelites in exile. “I will take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.”

Didn’t God know that in the centuries when Israelites wandered everywhere except Israel, that people called Palestinians would make it home?  How can God’s promises and covenants through the messengers, whether Ezekiel or Mohammed or Jesus, be right? How can all the conflicting messages be right?

There must be so much we don’t understand about this God of ours. How does that energy of God hold within its completeness and balance all the conflicting claims from people, all the confusion over who’s right, all the complexities and fears? And how to make sense of the dictums that if we don’t follow the conflicting demands, we are condemned?

This week we celebrate the dichotomy of death and rebirth, of light and darkness, of wandering and coming home, of sadness and joy: one cannot exist without the other. Perhaps our human condition is based on extremes so that we can understand the value of balance.

Find your balance today between the demands of life and the needs of your spirit. Find the balance today between activity and quiet. If a thousand angels can dance on the head of a pin, surely we can learn to dance on two legs.