My Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Anglican District of Virginia,
Let me begin with an understatement: We are living in uncertain times – economically, politically, culturally, relationally, and spiritually. Sometimes I catch myself worrying about what it is all going to come to. People have been known to worry themselves to death in uncertain times. So how do we get out of this worry trap?
Going back to basics, let’s think of the final days of Jesus’ earthly life. He found himself in much the same situation in which we find ourselves today. His world was one of uncertainty – economically, politically, culturally, relationally, and spiritually. In those last few weeks leading up to His death, He watched His world collapse around Him. Some of His followers were expressing doubt about His mission; the religious leaders of the day were obviously out to get Him; the tug-a-war between the Roman Government and the Sanhedrin was heating up and He was in the epicenter of that war; He had no money except what some faithful women were able to dedicate toward His little band of followers; His own brothers thought He was crazy; the whole culture was divided between allowing Roman ideas and customs to flourish beside time honored Jewish standards. In a short sentence: IT WAS A MESS down there in Jerusalem as Jesus and a donkey made His triumphal entry into town.
And so He rode into the mess of what we now call Holy Week. He caused a ruckus in the temple; He taught anyone who would listen; He milled around; He had one last supper with His close followers; and then He was betrayed by His treasurer, was found guilty of blasphemy and was brutally executed. Sort of makes being sued for church property look like a cake walk, doesn’t it?
Do you think Jesus worried about what it was all going to come to? As well as being FULLY GOD, He was also FULLY MAN. He had to deal with the same emotions we do. He may have caught himself worrying a bit. But there was something else…Trust in His Father. Even as He sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane and poured out His worries to His Father, he ended with a trust statement, “But not my will, but Thine be done.”
Have you noticed some Trust issues in your life lately? Are they beginning to take control of your mood and even your relationships? I have a suggestion to get break through to freedom. Let’s all talk privately to Jesus about our worries. Let’s pour out our hearts to Him about the uncertainty of our days. Then, let’s rededicate ourselves to Him as our Savior and Lord. I have found that when I do that, something magnificent happens. The worries fade away as I gaze on Jesus and the Big Picture. This too shall pass. Try it.
You see, when you and I look in the side view mirror of our lives, we not only see Jesus dying on a cross for us, WE SEE HIS BODILY RESURRECTION! Jesus was risen from the dead in order to bring us a certainty of our own resurrection. Worries about uncertain times will have much less power over us when we tuck in closely to Jesus – for today, for eternity.
Try to get to as many worship services as you can during Holy Week. Read the Gospel accounts of that last week of the earthly life of Jesus. Easter Sunday will mean so much more to you if you can spend Holy Week making it holy. May your Easter Sunday this year be one of the most wonderful Easters of your life. “See you in church.”
Bishop Dave Bena
CANA Suffragan and ADV Contact Bishop