Embrace Community this Holy Week
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
It's Holy Week, and I'm feeling all the feels. I'm also thinking about what Jesus must have been feeling this week all those years ago. Over those few days, we see an in-command Jesus – rebuking merchants, teaching gathered crowds, washing his disciples’ feet and celebrating Passover.
However, it wasn’t until Jesus was alone in the Garden of Gethsemane with his inner circle of friends - Peter, James and John – that we see Him reveal the true extent of what He was feeling. In the original Greek, Scripture describes Jesus as “greatly distraught and troubled.” Then he confides to His friends that He is sorrowful to the point of death. As Father James Martin puts it in his book “Jesus: A Pilgrimage,” Jesus seems to indicate that His sadness is so intense it feels as if it may kill Him.
Reflecting on Jesus’ vulnerability in the Garden (remember Jesus was both fully God and fully human), I got to thinking about my typical response to feeling overwhelmed or anxious. I tend to hide away – from my friends and sometimes even from God.
But Jesus models a different way for us: if He can be truthful with His inner circle, you can be truthful with yours. I want you to read this carefully: not only does the enemy want you to feel difficult emotions (e.g. fear, discouragement, disappointment, etc.), but he wants you to feel alone in the way you feel. His goal is to get you to turn away from others and from God.
God did not intend for you to live isolated in shame. He created us as emotional beings and built us for community because He knows you need people around you to lift you up and give you new perspective. There is nothing wrong with you because of how you feel!
How can you find community this week and share like Jesus?
Some reflection questions for you:
What inner truth have you been hiding?
What story have you been writing about reaching out to someone you trust? (e.g. it will burden her, I may be misunderstood, etc.)
What trusted friend can you reach out to this week and share what you are experiencing?
What do you need to take to God in prayer?
Here’s the other thing – by opening up, you show your friend she isn’t alone either. What a beautiful gift to give this Holy Week. And don't forget to include God in the process: Jesus found peace in the Garden of Gethsemane after repeatedly praying to the Father. I know you will find your peace, too.
Cheering you on,