When you’re flunking Holy Week

Many Christians in the world tonight are gathered at Maundy Thursday services, in quiet reflective sanctuaries around the globe. Here I am at home, with my children tucked sweetly in bed.

All pictures from Jerusalem during Holy Week)

And with a confession heavy on my heart:

I’m not ready this year for Easter.

I haven’t participated in Lent.  I haven’t been reading and preparing for this Easter season.  I haven’t been particularly mindful of Holy Week, as I normally would be.

I have been entirely preoccupied and consumed with a physical circumstance that I’m enduring, and it takes up nearly my every waking thought.  It feels to me that others are experiencing some great spiritual time of nearness to God, brokenness and contrition remembering Good Friday which we will observe tomorrow, while I am somewhere else, apart from this realm, consumed with my physical struggle.  I feel completely laid low.  I feel like a total spiritual failure.  Ah yes, Guilt, my familiar companion.

Walking this afternoon with the kids, my heart just broken before the Lord, crying out to Him:  “Lord this is just where I am.  I have nothing to offer You.  I haven’t done anything this Lenten season to remember You.  I don’t deserve some big sense of spiritual nearness to You, because I know I haven’t done the work of seeking and preparing my heart.  But somehow, would You still meet me, even here?”

It was as I was stirring simmering gnocchi over the oven that the hymn played over me, a precious favorite of mine by Fanny Crosby, one of my favorite hymn writers.

Pass me not, oh gentle Savior, 
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, 
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition;
Help my unbelief.

Trusting only in Thy merit,
Would I seek Thy face;
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by Thy grace.

Thou the Spring of all my comfort,
More than life to me,
Whom have I on earth beside Thee?
Whom in heav’n but Thee?

And the tears flowed.  He spoke so tenderly.  Yes, He longs for me, even me, even this distracted heart so prone to wander.  And when will it sink in?  When will I believe that I can never earn His presence, His voice.  It is all gift, an extravagant gift of His grace.  So just in case there’s anyone else out there who feels like they’re flunking Holy Week:  He can never resist any who reach out to Him.  He will never pass you by.  You can’t flunk Holy Week because it’s not a performance.  OH the sweet relief it is to kneel at His cross and to know He takes me again and again, brokenness, sinfulness, distracatedness and all.

For a video/audio of the hymn quoted above, click here:


1 thought on “When you’re flunking Holy Week”

  1. What a beautiful reminder of his grace! There is nothing we can do to make him love us more, there is nothing we can do to make him love us less. And this is one of my favorite hymns too!

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