During midterm break recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity alongside students and fellow college employees. Some of us cut and installed trim work, others hung doors. Another group installed counter tops and towel rods. All of us had a good day; but the construction wasn’t the best part.
The highlight of the day was when we met Mr. Jake, the grandfather of the homeowner. He came to personally thank each of us for our work. At 75, he told us how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren he had and deeply enjoyed. Construction Manager Aaron Lehman then invited us to join in prayer for Mr. Jake in anticipation of his open-heart surgery the next day. As we gathered in a circle, Mr. Jake asked if he could “hold on to” us. We laid hands on him; we prayed for the surgeons, peace of mind and ultimately for Jake’s healing. He joined us in offering a heartfelt “in Jesus’ name” to close our time together.
This week’s theme is “The Blessed One Comes in the Name of the Lord.” Who is blessed among us? As I reflected on this theme, Mr. Jake came to mind as one who showed me first-hand how to ‘come in the name of the Lord.’ Mr. Jake had much to be worried about, but he drew strength by asking for God’s presence “in Jesus name” — coming in the name of the Lord. Mr. Jake modeled gracious acceptance and gratitude; he allowed us to join him in his moment of vulnerability. We were all blessed as we reached across all our perceived differences to join as human beings needing each other.
The passages this week describe the humility Jesus modeled by assuming life as a human being and his entry into Jerusalem. The passages range in the intensity of human emotion, in victory and defeat. Regardless of where this week takes you, may you be blessed as you come in the name of the Lord: fully human, needing one another.