As staff and lay leaders, we get the irony of Holy Week duties eclipsing our spiritual life. It's real. So, instead of adding another "should" to our already impressive list of duties, here's 5-minutes of gravity-free time, designated to lift us up and over the eclipse.
1 – To-Do List
Spend a quick second clearing the decks by jotting down the weighty stuff on your to-do list. Set it aside - that's just so you can clear your mind and be present with God for next 4.5-minutes.
2 – Name names
Now, let's do some dumpster-diving and name names. For just under 5-minutes, we're going to ask God to grant us a personal resurrection; by forgiving those who know not what they do (Luke 23:24). Let's put before God the people who have inadvertently hurt us (okay, some of them meant it). Just in case God missed something, let's make sure God really knows about the insensitive comments, erroneous accusations and misdirected resentments aimed at us. Let God know that in spite of dying to yourself (repeatedly) it still stings. It's the little-spoken truth about ministry; we serve a hurting people whose hurt often runs over. Onto us.
3 - Forgive
We may be reticent to admit that we've got a list; but give it just 2-minutes. Name names. Trust me, God is the only one who's not surprised. Think of Jesus being targeted by both religious and political leaders, then by the masses. And if that venture into hell wasn't enough, even His own besties couldn't manage to wait and watch with Him in the Garden. Yeah, God knows this stuff from the inside. And, letting Him see the list, means he can heal us from the inside out.
4 – Trust
If, at this point you're doubting what God can do in just a few-minutes, remember that that's just about how long it took Jesus to calm a storm, heal the sick and raise the dead. So, when you've exhausted your secreted list, let God know that you're trusting God to be God; to judge or show mercy, to have vengeance or redeem. It's God's call. We're leaving it there. With God. No longer our list to keep, to carry, to harbor.
5 – Give thanks
In that moment of trusting God with our list, we invite God to be judge and jury so we don't have to be. When we say in the power of Jesus, "Father forgive them," - we may die to ourselves (again), but we don't stay dead, beaten or wounded. Instead, we are raised up with the gravity-defying power of a God who's not afraid to do some tomb-diving to retrieve our sorry-selves.
When we join Jesus in praying, "Father, forgive them," the light of God scuttles the eclipse. The sun that was for others, now casts its rays on us. Taking our list in hand, God turns our words for others unto us, "I forgive you. And, I promise, I've got this." Dawn. A new day. A needed resurrection. And, this is personal, for God. Because, this is Easter, for you.
Take 5 - Because this Easter is Personal
- 30-Seconds - Write & Set Aside your to-do list
- 2-Minutes - Name Names
- 1-Minute - Pray "Father Forgive Them" - as you trust God to be God
- 1-Minute - Tell God that you'll trust Him to be judge and jury
- 30-Seconds - Thank God for being God with you, for redeeming your life from the grave
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”. Luke 23:24