Lent is a Time of Remembering
We have entered into the season of Lent. Lent is a time of remembering. It’s a time when our thoughts turn to the ministry of Jesus, the effect he had on people who personally knew him, and those who only saw him from a distance. We remember the stories of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, of his Last Supper with his friends, of his trials before Annas and Pilate, the horror of the crucifixion, and the glorious resurrection. In any event, the impact Jesus had on the people he encountered was dynamic and a life- changing one. However, lest we forget the truth of Easter, might we ponder what Jesus might have remembered?
There is a legend of how a small flower was named “forget-me-not.” The sounds of “hosanna” must have rang in Jesus’ ears, a reminder of how the crowds praised him, and yet, shouted out, “Crucify, crucify him.” He could have thought, “How quickly they forget,” for he knew that one of his own disciples made a deal with the chief priest to betray him for thirty pieces of silver. Might Jesus have asked himself, “How could my friend, Judas, do such a thing? How could he turn on me so quickly?” After all, just before the betrayal, Jesus led his disciples to a place called Gethsemane to pray. As he prayed, might he have poured out his heart to his heavenly Father lamenting, “Father, how quickly my disciples forgot. They could not stay awake while I prayed for even an hour.” Though his flesh was weak, Jesus remembered his mission, why he had been sent into the world, and still willing to say, “Thy will be done.” Perhaps as he stood up and listened, Jesus heard the song of a bird singing above his head. It’s possible that Jesus felt the warmth of the sun on him as he walked. Imagine him walking toward the gate of the garden smelling the wild flowers and enjoying their fragrance.
The legend suggests that, in that garden of struggle to accept his fate, Jesus noticed a tiny blue flower nestled among the tall green grass. I can hear him ask his Creator, “What is this beautiful creation you have placed at the edge of the garden?” If the flower could have talked, perhaps it too wondered how it came to be called the “forget-me-not.” Jesus might have identified with the flower’s question, remembering his own lack of identity. He could have been thinking, “Master, I have had no royal name. I was born to be a King. I too am a forgotten one.” Perhaps the memory and reality of his mission flooded over him, and he recalled the words he had spoken earlier that morning. As he stood silent before the Council, Jesus might have remembered his bitter disappointment with his friend, Peter, outside in the courtyard during his trial stating, “Father, how quickly my followers forget.”
And yet, Jesus gives himself to the people saying, “Thy will be done.” I can hear Jesus agreeing with the beautiful flower as it wondered why the Creator did not give it a name. Maybe Jesus smiled slightly as he remembered the small, but beautiful, flower hiding in the tall grass as he walked back from the Garden of Gethsemane. And he too, whispered, “Forget-me-not.”
Whatever Jesus might have remembered, the Good News changed the world from what it had been while he was alive, to what it is today. Even still, that same Good News lives today, and is capable of changing our world and our lives. The question is, “How will it change my life this Easter. How will it change yours?
What will you remember in this Lenten season of 2017?