Hosanna to Alleluia

(NOTE: This is a full faith post.)

I’ve written parts of this post all week. It feels well that I should finish it on Easter. One o’clock and my home is quiet. My son and husband are napping and I have time in my office. What is before me now is to convey my heart to you, showing you how it has meandered all week. I find myself deeply aware of all the pain that is present for many right now. We heard this morning of a death that breaks the heart of my husband’s family. I find it challenging to write what is in my heart with all of that swirling. However, I do truly feel it is well to share our hearts, even when they are in different places. I know I say this often…but please feel invited to be where you are.

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. That day holds an important place in my story as well as in the greater story of all believers. And, this particular Palm Sunday was a shit show at our house. It was quicksand and toddler temper tantrums and smelling so badly of B.O. that my husband didn’t even lie about it. There was no space for anything deep or meaningful. And, I was longing for it.

We had planned on having time together as a family to serve each other communion and talk about the importance of that day. It didn’t happen. So, we found ourselves at 8:30 p.m. with a toddler who was finally asleep, looking at each other and still wishing for that sacred moment. So, we did that. We sat on our couch, dirty and tired, and dove into the scared. My husband read the story of Palm Sunday aloud. He read the words that they yelled when Jesus entered Jerusalem, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest!” We shared our hearts about that day so long ago. It doesn’t hurt that I am married to a Psalmist. He knows so many beautiful things about scripture and history and I am grateful. It was hard to celebrate those words when we knew that those same mouths will later yell, “Crucify him.” We humans. Lord have mercy.

Earlier in the day we had pulled our communion chalice and patten out of our cabinet. We grabbed nut thins from the pantry and red wine from the kitchen. We set them on the coffee table in front of us. I pulled up the Eucharist Rite on my phone and I slowly read the parts that felt important. And cried. I love that liturgy. I love how much story, Truth, and love pours out of those words. Those words that connect us to all the honest hearts throughout the centuries. I will always miss the sound of Fr. Charles’ voice during Eucharist, with the backdrop of Judy’s piano always wafting through the sanctuary. But, for this Palm Sunday, and for this place we (and all of us) find ourselves, it was an

Honest Hosanna.

A tired Hosanna. A late in the day Hosanna. But, a deep and true Hosanna nonetheless.

As I went through the week, I was connected to the story through the videos of Kate Bowler. Each day, she would give me 5 or so minutes of connection to what Jesus was doing during this week and what He and his disciples may have been feeling. I found myself more pensive and connected to the heart of Jesus and the story of Holy Week than I have in a long time.

The week was over full of sorrow and gratitude. So many conversations wth clients and friends about beautiful and miraculous things that are coming out of this global pause. And, so many corresponding conversations about pain and death and financial concerns and all the grief of what is being lost. All together. Being greeted by the same hearts. On Thursday, I thought I couldn’t bear it any more. My husband watched me cry throughout the day and not be able to speak the why. He fixed me dinner and cleaned up so I could crawl under the covers and sleep. I hadn’t thought until just now that all of that happened on Maundy Thursday. That feels true to me.

Good Friday felt lighter, which feels weird and maybe also true. Sleep had come and rest had happened in my soul. Again, Kate’s words were a balm for me as I sat in the truth of Good Friday.

Now, here we are. Resurrection Sunday. Easter. I woke to a text from one of my dearest sister-friends that said, “He is Risen!” She loves liturgy too. It is her Dad’s voice that I still hear. And, I replied, “The Lord is Risen indeed! Alleluia!” And, that is why it is well with my soul. He is Risen. My soul feels the words:

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

It is raining cats and dogs outside. There are no thoughts for me today of the perfect Easter dress or getting to church on time. No thoughts of making the day be a certain way. And awareness that He is Risen today in the midst of suffering for many. And, that is why it matters. Because he suffered. Because he died. Because he rose from the dead. And, I know that can all sound crazy. And, I also know in my soul that it’s True. And, that the experience of that Truth has changed me and continues to change me. I have so many things in my life that I wish I had done differently. And, yet, my heart is full. My God is here. The God that understands suffering, tears, crying for friends, the grave, the pain, the betrayal, the rejection. The God that came and turned all the old upside down. He befriended sinners, and appeared first to women. He got lower than those who were considered the lowest, and never considered them the lowest. He LOVED with all of him. And, he died. And, he rose. And, he sits at the right hand of God and continually reminds my heart that I am a child of God. Then, He allows me the honor of sitting in a room with the hearts that He created and allows me to love them. And I am never ever ever going to be perfect enough to deserve that honor. That is why I cry today. I cry because I am broken about it. So grateful that I need another word for it. Hosanna and Alleluia and Praise and words that haven’t been made yet.

So, with tears down my face and rain on my window…my true and deep prayer today is this. Wherever you are, whatever sorrow that feels it may crush you or whatever gratitude that feels impossible but so true…I pray that the Risen God is with you in all of that.