Rustlings (March 26, 2108)

I am comfortable with variance. While most of my days and much of my life is routine, I do not mind – sometimes even crave – the broader swings of adventure and experience. Most of my days begin with the typical shower, coffee, breakfast and drive to the office. Once in the office, it’s 10 minutes for the daily crossword puzzle (If it can’t be finished in 10, it goes in recycling. Rarely is it incomplete before being deposited in recycling), followed by: meetings, study, writing, lunch, visits, more meetings and dinner. The evenings can be as quiet as a good book or as boisterous as an athletic event or party. Most of my days are routine, but I am comfortable with variance.

The past four days have been musically varied. These days have included the melancholy motifs of Haydn’s 45th Symphony – beautifully presented by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra’s chamber ensemble. Sunday, I listened with you to John Rutter’s Requiem. Our Sanctuary Choir and guest musicians provided guidance for us along the sacred path of life and death and eternal life. The music soared and slipped into peaceful solemnity. It was beautifully harrowing and hopeful. And tonight (Monday), I’ll be at The Well enjoying the music of Alice Cooper. Like I said, I am comfortable with variance.

No week in the life of the church holds as much variance as Holy Week. We move from the pageantry of palms, to the intimacy of a foot washing and last supper, on to the cruelty of crucifixion, through the silence of Saturday and finally to the cynicism and celebration of an empty tomb. We all react to the imbalance of this week differently, but this is our story. This is the church’s story. This is every Christian’s story. Let it steady you or shake you, comfort you or challenge you, leave you settled or leave you questioning. Let it bring you close to the God who understands where you are…because this God has been everywhere – to earth and back, to hell and back – and this God knows the breadth of our human struggles. This is Holy Week.

— Jim