Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 6:12-14)
At the beginning of Holy Week, we stand with Jesus before the gates of a city. We know that once we have entered we will be swept up in events that we cannot control and that will bring us to the very edge of what we can bear, as we walk with him to Calvary and the tomb. This week tells us that God is able to change everything about us – our fear, our sin, our guilt, our untruthfulness. But to receive that change in the actual circumstances of our lives asks of all of us such a revolution in our hearts that we are stunned and frightened at the thought.
At the gates of this city, trying to live by faith, hope and love leaves us looking pretty helpless. But Jesus does not steer us away from these gates to a safe enclave, no, he keeps us close to him as we stand at the gates, and he tells us that these are also the gates of heaven. If you recognise your involvement and prepare to walk with Jesus into the city, to the cross and the tomb, there is a joy and a mystery at the end of the path, because it is inexhaustible divine love that walks with us.
O God, the gates of the city are open, would you take our trembling hand as we walk with you to your cross and resurrection.
Matt Russell - Father, Husband, Sober