This year has been one of the busiest in recent memory. I can't believe it is almost April already. It is Palm Sunday already! This Lent was one of the least Lent-y Lents for me since I began observing Lent. I had some Lenten disciplines I was trying to maintain, but I didn't do too well. In fact, my mind was hardly on the season. I've felt maybe not irreligious over the last few months, but definitely laissez-faire.
Ironically, during this period, I've spent quite a bit of time in the Gospels. Jesus remains both an attractive and troubling figure to me. He is one whom I want to call "Lord" and "Messiah," even when I'm not quite sure what that means when said of him. On the other hand, he troubles me. I don't know that we can establish the historian's Jesus, but the Jesus of the canonical gospels is problematic enough (let alone the Jesus of other gospels, i.e., do not sit down for coffee with Thomas' Jesus or pray for a child like the Infancy Gospel of Thomas' Jesus). I would say that a few years ago I was pretty enthusiastic about ideas like "truly" following Jesus, "authentic" discipleship, and whatnot. While I continue to see Jesus as someone who ought to be followed, pursued, studied, and in whatever way possible sought in the present, I worry that I may have underestimated Jesus when I thought of myself as being a more "radical" Christian, a more "Christian, Christian" than say the cultural Christians of the southern United States. Now I realize that the Jesus who rides into Jerusalem on an ass is as troubling and attractive to me as he must have been to his wishy-washy disciples. One minute I want to herald him as the Christ; the next minute I want to hide from him as his actions shame me or put my well being and social standing at risk. I can't blame people who cry "Hosanna" one minute then disappear the next minute. I'm often that person, so let us hope he's graceful to those of us who fail to be consistently radical and loyal disciples. Even Peter is presented as needing to come crawling back to Jesus after doubting him. I think this is true of all of us who seek him.