This is the first year in 31 years I am not leading worship during Holy Week
This is the first year in 31 years I am not leading worship during Holy Week. Instead, I will express myself here.
On Holy Thursday, Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
He embodied that love by kneeling taking the tired, cracked, dirty, smelly feet of his friends into his hands receiving their most vulnerable selves into his heart. He tenderly washed their feet as the mercy of heaven flowed from his heart into his hands into their soles of their feet and into every cell of their being. His friends knew in that moment they were loved not for what they can do or give in return. They were loved unconditionally. It is this love that changes everything.
I watched a stranger’s blood flow drip by drip down into my wife’s arm infusing her with life. Jesus said on this night before he was arrested, “This is my blood given for you, poured out for you.” Giving blood to strangers to save their lives is really the opposite of all the cruelty and ugliness that surrounds us.
Giving blood… a smile to a stranger…unexpected forgiveness…the gift of time…nonjudgmental presence…giving food to the hungry, hope to the hopeless, acceptance to the rejected, giving tenderness and mercy – all of it seems like a way to remind us we came from love, we are made by love, and we are here to love. Jesus said, “Remember.” How easy we forget.
The bag of blood from a stranger flowing into my wife’s arm reminds me of Jesus’ simple words, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Carol Lynn Pearson wrote a poem called Giving –
“I love giving blood.
Sometimes I walk in off the street when no one has even asked and roll up my sleeve.
I love lying on the table watching my blood flow through the scarlet tube to fill the little bag that bears no address.
I love the mystery of its destination. It runs as easily to child or woman or man, black or white, Californian or Asian, Methodist, Mormon, Muslim or Jew.
Rain does that. Rivers do. I think God does. We do not.
Our suspicious egos clot in the journey from ‘us’ to ‘them’.
So I give blood to practice flowing. Never knowing where it’s going.