esteem: worth, value, judgment, opinion
We took our seats about ten minutes after the Good Friday service began.
Being late is not my friend, but yet sometimes the miles logged to arrive is more important.
The service was moving, a collection of three congregations joining together.
We came to pause and remember
the dark, harsh reality of Friday, ushering us towards the reason
we can celebrate Sunday with brightness and joy.
Nearing the end of the service, these familiar words hung in the air:
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53: 3
The word esteem consumed my thoughts.
How often do I desire to be esteemed?
Aren’t I the one who wants to know my cooking is tasty
that the clothes I wear are stylish?
I want to know,
am I worthy?
Do I have value?
What is your opinion of me?
I am the very one who wants to be noticed.
The one who shudders at a compliment but in quiet
I want to be liked.
I don’t want to be rejected.
How could I bear if others hid their faces when I arrived?
Every ounce of His glory is compressed into my frame
because of the One
worthy of all praise.
Yet I am tempted to grab the divine with my fists.
How I need a Savior.
A Savior who is so acquainted with me and my ways.
A Savior who understands weakness yet He is so strong.
Now that we know what we have—
Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—
let’s not let it slip through our fingers.
We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality.
He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—
all but the sin.
So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give.
Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4: 14-16 (The Message)
No matter how late I arrived.
No matter how long it has taken me to see another part of me
which must die.
I can still take the walk to the communion table, linked with others
who share in my footsteps.
As I took the bread and the cup, I grasp not for my
own esteem but I held tightly to the One who was esteemed not.
I chewed and swallowed what He is always so ready to give me.
I ingested His sweet mercy and abiding help.
May you eat and drink deeply from the deep well of his mercy and grace
I am so thankful there is Easter Sunday but humbled
and blessed that Good Friday must proceed.