Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jesus was a man

The first time I went to a Good Friday service after giving birth to my first son, I sat there and bawled my eyes out. Truth be told, I have done the same every Good Friday since. I'll do it again in two days.

Jesus was a baby. He had a mother. She kissed his ouches and lamented his cowlick, maybe nagged him to do his chores without dawdling and watched in awe as he grew up right before her very eyes. She worried about him with a worry I can't come close to understanding since she had angels proclaiming his majesty, God making a way for him to enter this world, and the knowledge that he was so much more than her son.

Jesus was a baby. Toddler. Boy. Teen. Man.

Like my boys in so many ways, but also so different. Set apart for majesty and miracle, yet still just a man. I forget that sometimes. The human part. I marvel at the grand love and sacrifice, the gifts and miracles. On Palm Sunday, our church used drama in telling parts of the scripture. Our pastor spoke about the fear Jesus felt as he accepted a fate he knew awaited him. In spite of the fact that I was sitting in the back pew of a crowded church with my four children, not so conveniently armed with palm branch swords, ticklers, and elephant trunks, I became reacquainted with the human side of Jesus. And that side of Jesus makes this story so much more amazing.

I was freaking out about our inability to buy a house. That level of uncertainty was really about to throw me straight over the edge of crazy. Even though the closing hasn't officially happened, I can already look back and see how ridiculous I was being. (Now, if the closing falls through, I'm not saying I won't take the short train back to crazy, because I probably will. I'm just saying I'll know how silly it is in hindsight.)

Yet here is Jesus, this man, staring his death in the face. Starting Palm Sunday being celebrated and lauded, loved and adored. Then serving his disciples, washing their feet, and telling his best friends they will deceive him, kill him, ignore him, lie about him. Knowing that he is part of a much bigger story, but also aware of the fact that he will die the most gruesome of deaths that his very human body will feel 100%.

Jesus was a man. And he accepted his fate, knowing just how bad it would be and trusting it was necessary.

And I complain about a house.

On Thursday our church will serve a traditional Seder meal as part of its Maundy Thursday service. Two of my kids will receive their First Communion that evening. I will sit in a darkened church. Our pastor will come to me and say, "DeNae, body of Christ given for you. Blood of Christ shed for you." I will say amen. I will share a bit of bread, made by Audrey and Elliot and the other kids taking their First Communion, with Asher, who will promptly say, "MO!" I will watch my kids partake of that same blessed meal. And I will remember just what those words mean. Body of Christ given for you. Blood of Christ shed for you. For me and you and all of us. And I will be thankful. And I will trust.

Because Jesus was a man.


  1. Love it, I remember my first communion, and how after the Sedar dinner my dad let us get Dairy Queen (which was a big deal for my family).....he was still hungry. So not quite as emotional, but oh well.

    1. funny! I'm sure something really silly will happen to make it not so emotional tomorrow, too. I'll have four kids at a seder meal so something ridiculous is bound to happen. But, it's a story you'll remember, that's for sure!

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