Last Saturday we had another of those power glitches where the area around the church (as far as the traffic light at Rt. 35 and Rt. 123 east and who knows how far west) lost electricity. So for almost three hours, all my plans for updating lists and schedules, prepping documents, writing sermons for Holy Week, downloading and printing our Canon Law class notes – all those wonderful plans I had made came to a crashing halt! Once again, I learn that as much as I plan out my schedule and think I am in control of my life, I get rudely reminded of how little control of my life I truly have.
I won’t speak for all clergy, but I know “me.” I want to have things organized, processed and controlled weeks ahead of time. I think I need, can and must “do it all.” Whether I believe I can do it “well” or not never crosses my mind. Whether it is really all that important or not, the most important question, hardly ever gets asked.
Approaching Holy Week should remind me (and maybe the power loss was a not-so-subtle reminder from my Boss) that what ultimately matters in terms of eternal value has nothing to do with what I accomplish. The Paschal Mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection has been God’s way of telling us all: it’s not about what YOU do, what or whom YOU love, or that YOU have to merit divine love, forgiveness or redemption. It is NEVER about what I have to prove. Redemption is gift. Redemption is grace and it is given not because I am so perfect but because I am not! “When I survey the wondrous cross…” – so goes this hymn! These events we remember and celebrate next week: it is never about us, but it is always about what was done for us!