.......is such a blessing to me. We meet every Sunday morning at 9:15, and have been doing so for at least 4 years now. We've been through a lot of different studies--we've tried Catholic Exchange, Little Rock, 6 Weeks with..., and now we're working through a few of the Threshold Bible Studies.
Currently we're doing The People of the Passion. Fortuitous for Lent, no? And we didn't even really plan it that way. The study is interesting, because it looks at the stories contained within the passion narrative--focusing on each individual and his action at a given point in time. I'm not explaining that well. We focus on Peter--but not all of Peter's story at one time. Just one action at a time: "You will never wash my feet", "I will never deny you", Peter falls asleep in the Garden, Peter picks up the sword, "I don't know the man", etc. Each would be a separate daily lesson, sprinkled among other stories of other people.
A kaleidescope, you might say. And always the question is, "Where would I be in this story. What would I be doing?
I've heard it before, you know. (We won't go into whether I've said it, or thought it, before, OK?) "Oh, how I wish I could have lived in Jesus' time, because then it would be so much easier to believe!"
No it wouldn't. It wasn't for Adam and Eve. It wasn't for the Israelites. It wasn't for the disciples. It wouldn't be for me.
Whatever his motivations, Judas wanted a different Jesus. So did all the other disciples. And so, most of the time, do I. We all want the Jesus without the cross. We all want to find our way to heaven without doing what he told us was the way to get there.
"Pick up your cross and follow me."
Everything's good 'til we get to that darn Way of the Cross.
My crosses are light, others are dealing with issues mind-numbingly worse (see, for example, Melanie over at Wine Dark Sea, though there might be a little light on that situation). But I'm not gonna lie, they're still crosses, and I still don't wanna carry 'em. I don't. I'm tired. I want a little of the "health, wealth and prosperity gospel" to shower down on me.
When I was younger, I read M. Scott Peck's book The Road Less Traveled. I wrote a book review that started out disagreeing with the very first sentence of the book. In my foolish, foolish youth, I couldn't believe the premise. And the premise? That first line I so disagreed with?
"Life is hard."
And now I look back and laugh. Yep. It's hard. What I know now that I didn't know then is that hard doesn't mean unhappy all the time. Hard doesn't mean joyless. Hard certainly doesn't mean without fun.
But, yeah, life is hard.
And I'm a big baby and wish it weren't.
And I'm like Judas. I want Jesus to be what I want him to be, not who he is.
Thank goodness He still loves me anyway.