• Nigel Langford

The story of a week

Updated: Oct 30, 2019


I left my house, yesterday morning, with a real spring in my step. It had been a long week but I was looking forward to catching up with some friends and exploring a fantastic coffee and creative space in London.

The journey was straight forward, although I later found out that I could have got there quicker with less changes! The way back was the highlight as I was travelling with a friend to South Woodford. Those of you who travel on the Central Line will know that there is a loop taking you either to Epping, or to Hainault via Newbury Park. You have to be aware of what train you are getting on or you will end up in the wrong destination.

Conversation flowed and it became apparent that we were on the wrong side of the line! We hadn’t seen it coming, we were officially on a detour. We laughed but realised that this is quite frequent in all our experiences. How many times have we been travelling and not seen something coming? A closed road, flat tyre, cancelled trains and flights, accidents and tailbacks on motorways. Is every journey you undertake without inconvenience or completely different to what you envisaged it to be?

I have taken comfort after Holy Week on how those seven days reflect life for me. I have imagined the disciples starting on Palm Sunday, worshipping Jesus, thinking that nothing could stop them. The next few days would hold many detours, curve balls and tragedies. Jesus tells them things they didn’t want to hear, that He was leaving but would come back. What on earth did that mean, how would that happen? Who was Jesus father and where did He live? How confusing…

They ate together and he told them that someone around the table would betray him. He is arrested, executed and everyone is dispersed and scattered in fear of their lives. Saturday is silent and no one has any idea how we got from Palm Sunday to Good Friday. Ever walked through life and thought you were on a detour? You never saw that situation coming, you hadn’t planned it! There is no way this track gets you to the destination you had in mind. Maybe this is the space where we doubt God, where we struggle most to imagine that resurrection is just around the corner. The Saturday is full of questions without any answers, dreams dashed, and a life full of mystery. I know I have found myself in these Saturday moments, secretly holding out for hope, and trusting that Jesus hasn't left me in this space, on my own.

I am beginning to understand that Holy Week portrays so many events, mysteries, emotions, outcomes that reflect our lives. We process through the highs, lows, pain, grief, tragedy and mind blowing exhilaration of the resurrection. In John 21, after His resurrection, Jesus prepares breakfast on the beach for his disciples. I love how He eats with us, reaches out to affirm us, whatever our reaction through the detours. He revitalises us and sends us back into everyday life to reflect Him wherever we go. Integrity shows that, like a mosaic, we reflect him through the light He shines on our broken pieces. A haunting beauty of hope through brokenness.

What a week, what a detour! Over the next few blogs I will look at some of the questions emerging in my mind as I walk this out, I’d love to join me.


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