Sunday, April 9, 2017

Marriage and Holy Week: Celebrate

          It was Sunday—the beginning of a week-long celebration leading up to Passover.  Anticipation was high.  As Jesus entered Jerusalem, people lined the streets.  Shouts of “Hosanna!” rang out.  Palm branches and coats covered the road way.  When detractors tried to shut it down, they were told that nothing will stop the anticipation and the celebration—and if they try, the stones will cry out in praise.
     Anticipation is a powerful force.  Do you remember the giddy, excited feeling you would get as a child waiting for the Easter Bunny to come visit?  Or looking forward to a birthday party, or finally getting your driver’s license?  Do you remember the anticipation you felt as your wedding date drew nearer?  Maybe you have felt the excitement of a spouse returning from a tour of duty overseas, or signs of improvement after a long illness.  Big or small, anticipation can be a powerful, positive driving force in a relationship.  And anticipation often leads to celebration.
     Relationships aren’t perfect.  Sometimes, when there is conflict in the past or difficulty on the horizon, it is tough to find joy in anticipation and celebrate the goodness of the present.  But every couple needs times of celebration in their marriage.  In spite of the good feelings of the moment and the powerful accolades from the crowd, Jesus wasn’t oblivious to the fact that his week would take him to the cross.  But that was Friday, and on Sunday he lived in the moment and relished the celebration going on around him.  He saw God’s presence, and he saw how his participation blessed others. 
     I don’t know what’s going on in your marriage.  I sincerely hope you are enjoying a season of peace and goodness.  But even if you are not, look for the positive moments you can celebrate with your spouse.  Celebrate the good things, no matter how short-lived or how long, that remind you of your covenant love for each other.  Celebrate because darker days may be ahead, but so is hope.

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