Were you there?

Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 26:14--27:66

Where do you stand today? After all of these scripture readings where do you stand? With the crowd in the hail and hosannas? At the cross, in the garden, at the courtyard denying you ever knew him? With the crowds shouting crucify him? Where are you, what do you wrestle with most this holy week? The thing is this doesn't take any scholarly examination or know how, this just takes a self examination.

Where do I stand? For me I stand looking at the yawning hole of death. Right when everything is all lost. What is it inside of a person who decides to stand up to power knowing they will loose everything? The images are iconic because there have been others who have stood in this place and paid with their very lives. Maybe its because I struggle with what it would take inside. Is it just and instant decision, not something developed your whole life long? Maybe its because we just need to ask ourselves this question because we all have a point where we might need to stand up.

Think of the images or peoples through the years who have stood up. The man in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. One man in front of all the power to crush and kill yet that image was seen, is still seen as iconic. What did it take to move him to that point, to stand there in the face of death? Or Elie Wiesel how could he have survived the loss of family, friends, dreams of who he wanted to be in the Buchenwald concentration camp and still be able to see God. Where is God someone in the crowd was asking as they witnessed the killing of a child. Elie's answer was God is right in the child.

Palm Sunday takes us to this edge, this drastic edge of death where we must ask ourselves where would we stand. Would we run away, would we loose ourselves, would we stand, where would we be in the face of death and love. No one who is iconic in facing this ever held a gun or weapon, no one who has faced this goes out kicking and screaming, it is in the silence of fantastic odds. Going to places deep within, yet it is all done in instants, not in thought and reflection. In surrendering everything, everything.

See this is why I wonder, why I stand at death. Because I know about surrender and it is something we do continually all our lives. I am not in control. It happens and we stand at the threshold of a choice, to acknowledge and learn or to live with the illusion we are in charge. Because if we really face surrender we stand at the foot of the cross, with the disappointment, disillusionment this was not what we expected of the Messiah King. We expected control, we expected victory, we expected arms, we expected to win. Yet the shame of the cross is Jesus died.

Jesus died to show us we ultimately aren't in control. Jesus died silently, without defending himself. Jesus died because he was a servant, not a controller. Jesus died because dying speaks louder than weapons and fighting for life. This is where I stand in this gospel. This is the good news I testify to. Where do you stand?