What does community look like right now? What does connection look like right now?
I try to imagine Jesus running Zoom sessions or putting his Sermon on the Mount over Facebook. I’m thinking our current Instagram/FB/TV/website culture couldn’t even pay attention that long, let along sit still for that type of teaching.
But what I have noticed in the past couple weeks is the craving from many for community. For connection. I’ve seen people in Zoom meetings that rarely come to “normal church.” I’ve seen folks plug into FB Live worship or watch on TV that rarely come to a sanctuary. I’ve seen more people look up on the bike path and wave as we run past one another. I’ve seen smiles linger and conversations fight through the awkward 6′ barriers. And that’s wonderful and beautiful and tricky all wrapped together.
But we’re all searching for something. Trying to fill some of these new voids. Replace and recreate old patterns.
And into that void comes Holy Week. Terrible timing that we can’t get together in person to celebrate it and yet perfect timing that we can experience it in a new way, in probably a new place and at an important time.
Jesus enters Jerusalem. On a colt. To cheers. To Hosannas. To Palms. And the crowds are a community. A mob. United. And I have to imagine that Jesus couldn’t have felt more alone. Isolated. Quarantined. His purpose was way different than they expected.
Then the crowd starts to split. Fall apart. “Who is this man?” they ask. “Some say the Messiah!” “Some say he’s trouble!” And community breaks down. Isolation and sides and divisions and splits and community falters. And in those moments, Jesus keeps going.
And I have to imagine that Jesus couldn’t have felt more driven. Connected to the Father. Passionate about his mission. His purpose was way different than they expected.
I feel like our culture right now, in this viral time, is a little bit Palm Sunday-ish. That the connections seem broken and the community seems to have fallen apart. But even in the middle of all this, I give thanks that the ability to connect to Jesus has only strengthened. That Holy Week is perfectly timed. That the cross that he walks to is the perfect image for us to hold onto right now. That this start of Holy Week leads to the end of it…an empty tomb. THE empty tomb. The one that connects us in the first place. The one that Christian community centers around. Connection and community.
So as we enter Holy Week and the palms fly in our homes instead of churches and community seems to struggle, may we know that this journey, this confinement, this stay-at-home week(s), will be Holy. And will also end at an empty tomb refilled with life, connection and community with God and one another.
Lord, make this Holy! Amen
Still in One Peace,
(All are welcome in tonight’s Zoom check-in!)