One of the blogs I’ve discovered this Lent is a blog called Barnstorming, by a woman named Emily Polis Gibson, a wife, mother, farmer and family physician living in rural Washington. She has posted some powerful Lenten meditations in recent weeks, and several of them seemed particularly apt for Holy Week and I will be posting a number of excerpts here.
Her March 19 Lenten Devotional, the Flooded Path, which begins with a quote from St. Augustine, seemed an excellent reflection to post at the beginning of Holy Week, as we reflect on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his relentless procession ever closer to the moment of His death.
I like how Emily has described those final steps to the Cross as ‘the beginning of a journey into a new covenant.” And the quote she references from Augustine has got me thinking much about Palm Sunday and the exuberant worship ot that day. Did those shouts of Hosanna and exaltation of Jesus as King give our Lord courage to walk that desperately hard path ahead, reminding Him of the unceasing praise He would receive for eternity once He had finished the work His Father had given Him and sat down at His right hand? Were those cries of Hosanna “brave music,” in Augustine’s words, that fortifed Jesus for the trials ahead? Perhaps.
God of our life,
there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies grey and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage.
Flood the path with light,
run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits
that we may be able to encourage the souls of all
who journey with us on the road of life,
to Your honour and glory.
Those final few days may have been like this:
the sky oppressive with storm clouds,
the shouldered burden too painful,
the soul weighed down, discouraged, disheartened.
Each step brought Him closer
to a desperate loneliness borne of betrayal and rejection.
But the end of that dark walk was just the beginning
of a journey into new covenant.
Instead of rain, those clouds bore light, flooding the pathway so we can come together to lift the load.
Instead of loneliness, there arises community.
Instead of stillness, there is declaration of glory.
Instead of discouragement, He embodies hope for all hearts.
The promise fulfilled, spills over our path.
We are drenched.