Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Welcome to Holy Week! This is the week when our pace can slow, allowing us to walk with Jesus through each of his last days. We hope you are finding that the beauty of Jesus’ love on full display is catching your heart in unexpected ways on your own journey of love this week.
Thank you for being with us during Lent. Thank you for taking time to notice how God is present in the wilderness and how we can be present to ourselves in the wilderness, too.
Today we remember that we often enter a wilderness season in times of transition. As we pass between “here” and “there,” we discover that we have to let go of what is behind us before we can lay hold of what is in front of us. When we pass between old and new, we pass through poignant and tender spaces of unknowing or un-learning. In these liminal wilderness spaces, we are ripe for reflection and for re-orientation.
Are you in a season of transition right now? Have you let go of an old way and find your hands impatient for a comfortable grip on what is new?
Holy Week reminds us that there are songs to be sung in the uncertain, anticipatory wilderness spaces.
This Week’s Story:
Three times a year, Jewish people in Jesus’ day traveled to Jerusalem for feasts that celebrated God’s loving activity. Jesus and his disciples had traveled to Jerusalem that final week of His life for Passover, the official celebration of God’s deliverance of His people through the wilderness.
So, Jesus’s trip to Jerusalem was a scheduled holiday journey. Can you imagine His time on the way, as He passed through the desolate spaces that surround Jerusalem, remembering God’s deliverance and God’s presence in the wilderness even while He anticipated his own identity as God’s final Passover lamb? Do you wonder if His mind was connecting the symbols of Israel’s worship with the reality of His work?
The symbolism of wilderness wandering, unleavened bread, wine, and sacrifice all pointed to God’s long, patient, and beautifully crafted work in Israel’s life. These symbols reminded them that God spares nothing in His commitment to reveal Himself to people and reconcile people to Himself.
Do you wonder whether Jesus’ human heart was comforted as He remembered God’s faithful love, even as He entered the deep anguish that very love would require of Him?
One way for Jesus (and all of the Jewish Passover pilgrims) to remember and anticipate God on their wilderness journeys to Jerusalem was by singing the Psalms of Ascent. Psalms 120 - 134 are the liturgical songs that Jewish pilgrims would sing on their way. These psalms surely must have been the scripture-songs that were playing over in Jesus’ ears during his Passover week as he moved toward the cross. He knew them well and had sung them on the way.
God gives us songs to sing that carry unspoken hopes and fears in wilderness spaces between “here” and “there.” When we sing God’s songs with those who have come before us, including Jesus, we are reminded that God is faithful and that we are not alone on the journey.
A Wilderness Practice:
For the rest of this week, would you consider reading the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120 - 134) each day, asking God to help you see Jesus’ love and compassion more clearly, and asking God to speak to you as you traverse your own liminal, wilderness space?
Perhaps set aside 30 minutes as this week draws to a close to read each short psalm in turn, and journal with these prompts:
God of Songs in the Wilderness, I see Jesus in this psalm...
God of Songs in the Wilderness, I see myself in this psalm...
God of Songs in the Wilderness, I see Your love for me in this psalm...
You are not alone. There are songs to sing. Others have sung them before you. Deliverance is secure.
Blessings to you in your final days of Lent!
Gratefully, and offering praise to Jesus,
The Kaleid Team