Yesterday in our Palm Sunday service my oldest daughter performed a monologue I wrote. She did such a wonderful job with it. The piece is a reflection of Holy Week based on the Gospel of John. The Fourth Gospel is the one I’ve been working through during Lent and will also spend time with on Easter and afterward. I thought I would post it here as many of us work this week to stay focused on the sacred time we are engaged in.
For three years Jesus had tried to tell people about how to be spiritually healthy. He had used metaphor after metaphor after metaphor. “It’s like being born again,” he’d told the old religious leader. “Are you thirsty? It’s like drinking water” he told a marginalized woman in a male dominated world. “Can you imagine eating food that came from God? That’s exactly what it is like,” he told people in a synagogue. “It’s like you were blind, but suddenly you see. It’s like sheep that follow the one Good Shepherd.”
He tried every analogy known to man and God: Wind, fruit, trees, servants, you name it—he tried it. But the people still were not able to put their mind around what he was talking about. He so badly wanted them to get it, but they hadn’t just yet.
Standing outside of Jerusalem he knows time is just about up. The fullness of time ticked his whole life and now the tocks are louder as his hour is at hand. His mission on planet earth was not only to teach the ways of God and of spiritual truth, but to embody spiritual truth. The biggest part of that spiritual truth is sacrifice and atonement. The time for him to die at the hands of religious people and politicians is here. They would not take his life. He would give it.
Soon the water would be bloody. Talk of being born again would become, “It is finished.” The food from God would mutate into vinegar on a sponge and the taste of a bleeding, battered jaw. The one who opened the eyes of the blind will now have his eyes beat swollen shut. The good shepherd will, like sheep, be led to the slaughter. No more talk of luscious fruit bearing trees; soon only the tree of pain would matter. The only fruit now is oozing from underneath a thorny crown.
But the wind, the wind still blows. It blows across Jesus face as he gazes at Jerusalem. It blows through the Temple courtyard and down the crowded streets of the city at Passover. It blows in the coming day—through a window in the upper room, in Pilate’s tussled hair, across Jesus hanging body, and in the midst of a tomb. The wind blows and the Spirit of God descends upon his people and finally, slowly, they begin to understand and know what Jesus had been talking about all that time.