It would be out of character for me not to post something super spiritual during Holy Week, but for some reason I am not feeling 'inspired' with great insights to share with the masses... I do have a couple thoughts to share
Alcohol/ Wine: I tried to give up alcoholic beverages for the season of Lent. Upon further reflection, I decided to only give up wine in efforts to become more aware of my motives behind drinking. I realized how much my motives were impure and how much I got out of other's thinking I was doing this really hard thing. After working through those issues, it became easier for me to let go of what other's thought and to focus on my relationship with God in this whole process.
What did I find? Without considering what other's thought, I felt more freedom and also more guilt. I realized that it would have been more honoring to Jesus for me to give it all up.
I have rationalized many scenarios in my mind. Good ones too! I am so thankful that I don't have to hold onto that guilt. So, this week I am going to be a purist! Its going to be hard tonight because I an going to Helios and they have $3 beer specials and I really want to dry their Spring Bock. But, now it is between me and God, desiring to connect with the sacrifice and remember the pain. (like not drinking one beer connects me at all with being nailed to a cross or disowned by your closest friends??) Not so much, but it is allowing me to enter into the season with a deeper respect for my creator-turned human- willing to die and willing to feel just like we do.
I am reading a book, "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Nikos Kazantzakis. I haven't finished it yet, but I have about 100 pages left and my goal is to complete it before Easter. This book is amazing. It is fiction, but describes what Jesus' life and relationships could have been like. After being in Israel and seeing the places described in this book, it brings the bible even more to life, as I picture the friendships he has with his disciples, real relationships. This book is bringing me closer to understanding why it is such a big deal that he died and ROSE again! Thanks George for the book! Once I'm done, I will do a more complete review.
Our scripture on Sunday was from the gospel of John. I have been reading through John's account of the final week, and will continue until Sunday. One segment stood out to me...
Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the prasie of God.
This has made me ask myself: Where do I love human praise more than the praise of God? Who are the Pharisees I want to impress and be included by in my life?
Have you learned anything over this lenten season?