Certain Confusion

By Roy Stetler
March 24, 2024

If we walk with the disciples this holy week as if it were all brand new to us, this is a truly confusing week:  The poor, common folk welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem, the upset-table chaos in the temple, a new teaching of compassionate servanthood, a new application of the seder meal’s invitation to freedom, Jesus being handed over to a fast-paced, weak on evidence and justice trial, crucifixion, and death.  Dare we allow ourselves to be so confused?

The disciples were pretty sure they knew what was going on around them.  Still, they must have had inklings that Jesus was not playing by their rules.  They did not trust as Jesus trusted:  They wanted to know, for sure.  How could anyone trust in the face of such uncertainty??   What is the point of faith if you can’t be certain that things will turn out exactly as you want them?

Jesus invites his followers to a place of uncomfortable uncertainty. . .so that we can be truly open to what the Spirit has in store.  The Spirit will not abandon us to despair, but we must, must, come to the place where we finally abandon our self-assured, self-demanding, certainty.  A good surprise comes to all who learn to release what they know, in exchange for whatever God has in store, in love.

The abundance of Christ’s love, of God’s peace, is unlimited.  Life gives us many opportunities to release our demands (like the disciples in Holy Week) and practice faithful trust in love.