I’m sitting here this morning listening to the music of The City Harmonic as I process my visit with a parishioner facing major health issues. Emotions are welling as I remember my mother’s similar struggle that ended 20 years ago this month. I realize now that I’ve never really dealt with the grief that I felt with mom’s death and I wonder how that has shaped my ministry to the sick and dying in the short time that I have been in a pastoral role.
These thoughts are creeping in as I am trying to finalize my preparations for Holy Week. Beginning with 2 services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday at Rising Fawn, Good Friday at Sand Mountain, the traditional Good Friday lock-in with the youth (Lord, in your mercy), and ending with the worship celebrations on Easter starting at sunrise. Holy Week can be a killer… at least it is spiritually and emotionally draining for me. So, where do I get the strength to do it? I wish that I could say that my spiritual life and spiritual practices are so strong and deep that I have a tremendous well from which to draw, but I’m afraid that would be a lie. I’ve fallen into the trap of my Bible reading to be focused on preparation of the sermon and my prayer life is nowhere near what I want it to be. I’ve allowed the “busyness” to overcome the Holy and I am diminished by that realization of truth.
I find that I am “preaching faith until I have it,” and encounters like this morning help to orient me back to the foot of the cross, back to the place where I fall to my knees and ask God to give me the strength, because I don’t have it on my own. I can never have it on my own. I am too broken, too prideful, and too much of a doofus to do any of this on my own. Perhaps that is a place where we all need to be: Acknowledging our dependence upon the One who calls us and equips us to do the work that He has called us to do.