Purple - the distant colour
Our reflections during Lent encourage us to step back and view our lives and faith through a lens which allows us space and opportunity to see things differently. Finding and creating space to do so is harder than it sounds, especially when we’re bombarded with what I like to call ‘noise’. I don’t just mean the noise we listen to; I mean the internal thoughts and the physical disruptions of the chaotic period we’re living in. The world feels just a little bit too much right now. That’s my opinion, but I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. The last few weeks here in Aotearoa New Zealand have been challenging. From the Freedom Protestors outside parliament, a surging Omicron wave and the war in Ukraine, people are feeling overwhelmed. This is resulting in some pretty ugly behaviour and fearmongering. In the heat of the moment there is anger and fear. The present situation is tough. We don’t just feel this internally. It’s affecting our daily lives with supermarket shortages and petrol prices climbing. It’s easy for the current reality to swamp us, alter our view of the past, and affect our hope for the future.
When things are overwhelming, we need to create some distance. We need some purple mountain time.
One of the most provocative happenings for me of the week leading up to Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, was the speed in which the crowd changed from celebrating the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of praise, to days later cheering for him to be killed. How did this happen? Do you ever put yourself into the Easter story and wonder if you would have behaved differently? I’d like to think I’d stand apart from the crowd, but then I turn to the story of Peter. Peter had declared openly and loudly that he would always stand by Jesus. For sure, he wasn’t one of the crowd jeering and calling for death. Yet Peter, sick with fear and facing events overwhelming and out of his control, denied that he even knew Jesus. If Peter couldn’t personally stand by Jesus, would we have been any different?
Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance. Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them, and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”
Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”
A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!”
“No, I’m not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later another man insisted, “This man must have been with Jesus. They both come from Galilee.”
Peter replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed.
The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Then Peter went out and cried hard.
Luke 22:54-62 (CEV)
When things are overwhelming, we need to create some space for reflection. We need to see things from the perspective of other’s. We need some purple mountain time.
In our prayer room today, we look to purple mountains to help us with our Lent reflections and provide us with space and distance.
On the journey
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