Do you like patterns?

For some, it’s a fun challenge to identify a pattern, figuring it out. For others it’s a nuisance and unnecessary.

Whether we like patterns or not, they are undeniable in life. And as we evolve as a species we learn more and more about this. Just take quantum physics. It’s only been understood since the early 1900s. Quantum physics provides a framework for understanding patterns at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels, revealing intricate relationships between the behavior of particles, the structure of space-time, and the emergence of complex patterns in nature.

If you dig into this field of study, it has a strange kinship to spirituality.

Holy Week has a pattern.

Living. Dying. Burying. Resurrecting.

Interestingly enough, however, that pattern is not a “one and done” in the life of Jesus. It is something that happens over and over again in our every day lives. It’s called the rhythm of spiritual life. It’s also referred to as the Paschal mystery.

This pattern, this rhythm, living, dying . . . is not one most of us would choose. Instead, it is one thrust upon us. And typically when we least expect it and least want it. But it is there anyway.

We have choices.

Run from it. Deny it.

Allow the pain from it to consume us, turning us into either calloused, cold, angry, withdrawn, wounded beings.

Or . . .

We move in and through it.

Embracing the need for death, burial, and knowing that ultimately we will experience resurrection.

As Richard Rohr writes, “We all find endless disguises and excuses to avoid letting go of what really needs to die for our own spiritual growth…It is always our beloved passing self that has to be let go of. Jesus surely had a dozen good reasons why he should not have to die so young, so unsuccessful at that point, and the Son of God besides! It is always ‘we”—in our youth, in our beauty, in our power and over-protectedness—that must be handed over. It is really about ‘passing over’ to the next level of faith and life. And that never happens without some kind of ‘dying to the previous levels.’”

I asked in the message Sunday, what is it you need to die to?

I ask it again . . .

As the week progresses, as the pattern continues, may we confront those very things.

Grace and Peace,