At church this morning, we celebrated Palm Sunday. The pastor was talking with his puppet, Jake, about how many of us like God when things are going well, but we are tempted to forsake God when things are going badly. Similarly, there were people who were cheering for Jesus when he was entering into Jerusalem on a donkey, yet they were calling for his crucifixion soon thereafter.
I do not know if that was actually the case, for the people who cheered for Jesus may not have been the same as the people who called for his crucifixion. Still, I think that my pastor was making an important point. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, regardless of what is going on in my life. That is why I think that it is important for me to honor God, the embodiment of love and righteousness, even when things are not clicking for me. The way is still right.
We did not have a sermon this morning. Instead, we performed the “Weeping Tree,” a story about the tree that was used for Jesus’ cross. The first rehearsal a couple of weeks ago was a little rough—-we were rehearsing for two hours, and even then we had not gotten it right! The director, however, said it was a bad rehearsal, but we would have a good performance. And I would say that we did.
I would be lying if I were to say that all was well for me today on the religion front. I was short with someone this morning, and so I felt guilty during the church service. I was thinking about how we have all sinned and made mistakes and that’s why Jesus died for us, but then I had different thoughts as I was walking home. I was thinking to myself that, yes, I made a mistake, but I had to move on, and I had to try to avoid making that mistake in the future. I asked myself why I was so insecure about taking a suggestion from somebody, that I was short with that person. Hopefully, that will enable me to handle similar situations in the future with more composure. Although this thought process was more psychological than religious, I cannot say that religion was completely divorced from it: I will need God’s help to be courteous with people, especially when I am nervous, insecure, or perhaps annoyed (which is my own fault). Many others are going through things, after all, and they still manage to be courteous to me.
I am grateful when people forgive me. Does that make me more forgiving of others? Well, I’m still mad at certain people. And, even if I somehow managed to stop my anger and to regard the people who offended me as human beings with flaws, like me, I am very hesitant to restart relationships with those people. So does God refuse to forgive me because I have not forgiven others, a principle that Jesus affirmed in the Sermon on the Mount? If so, then I am not sure what to say! There are some people from whom I want to keep my distance! I am still grateful to those who forgive me, though, and I resolve to be the sort of person they want to be around.