John 3:30 –Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

Tomorrow begins my FAVORITE week of the year: Holy Week!

I adore and love the stories from Holy Week. Yes, this may sound crazy because the stories of Holy Week are terribly humbling, depressing and eye-opening. Why do I love them? Because these stories share what I feel is the core of the Christian faith. The stories that explain why Jesus came to earth, how much God loves us and what this means for us today.

When we read the stories, it is very different from the first century people who lived these stories. We know how the story ends. We know that death does not have the last word, but life does. Even so, as we read about what the disciples, the women, the soldiers, the authorities did in the last days, let’s not be critical of what they did or did not do. Unless we were in that situation, it is impossible for us to know how we would react. What we would do. My guess? We would do disappointing things as well.

I think of how the last Sunday of Jesus’ earthly life started so joyful and exciting, but quickly turned into a hot mess where people were confused and unsure. It is normal for us to look at these stories and try and find ourselves in the people and their reactions.

This Holy Week, I encourage us to keep our eyes focus on Jesus and not the people around him. Read and listen and hear how Jesus became someone that the people never expected. Recall how with each story, Jesus became someone new and different from the previous day. Yes, the disciples and those around him had a hard time keeping up with what he shared with them. The words were confusing and difficult and often did not make sense. Why? Because Jesus was becoming so much more than what everyone expected. Jesus was already all of these things before Holy Week but now, everything just became more poignant.

It is difficult for us to understand God’s deep, deep love for us. It’s hard to connect the dots and understand why God would do this, why Jesus accepted the challenge and what this means for us today. If we struggle with this 2,000 years after it happened, maybe we can be empathic towards those around Jesus who were distraught, stressed out and confused. He was becoming something new and different from what they expected and they weren’t sure if they liked it. For some, they never accepted who this becoming Jesus became. Others sorted through this over time. And yes, some embraced it and their lives were forever changed.

What will our response be to the stories of Holy Week? Will we embrace them and live them? Be scared and unsure? Or so confused that we question faith and what it means in our lives. We each make this choice. I pray that as we really focus on Jesus and what he does in those last days of his life, we see his becoming as something beautiful, wonderful and something we want to embrace. As we embrace more of Jesus in our lives, then we also see how necessary it is for us to decrease and Jesus to increase in our lives. We embrace Jesus’ becoming which then challenges us to become more of who God yearns for us to be as well.

If you are looking for a bit more inspiration this weekend, here are a few suggestions:

This wonderful article about JIMMY CARTER. Written by Christian author Phillip Yancy, it is a beautiful story about a man who became even more of who God wanted him to be AFTER he was President of the United States. Jimmy Carter is a man who has never stopped becoming who God wanted him to be. And the world is a much better place because of this.

This song. It’s not exactly an Easter song, but please listen to the words.

It’s been a tough week for the people of Nashville. I cannot explain what happened and why. But I do believe this: there are a lot of hurting people in Nashville and this world right now. And they need hope. Why do I love Holy Week and Easter? Because they give me hope. Hope that Jesus became all that I need in my life. The rest will sort itself over time. Jesus became the One who can take care of it all. Now, we just need to become the people who trust in Jesus and find hope in something bigger than our lives.

For Jesus becoming what all that I and everyone needs, I am grateful.

Blessings –

Most Holy God – Why did Jesus do all that he did? Because of your extreme and love for me. He became all that I need. May I embrace this fact during Holy Week. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Want some more thoughts about “Becoming?” Check out these other blogs:

A Work In Process – Becoming by Lisa Crowder

Growing in Grace: Understanding and Embracing God’s Plan for Midlife by MelAnn 

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Ashley Olivine


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