Stunned Saturday in Sofia


Tonight, in Sofia, Bulgaria my dear friend Brooke is reflecting on Jesus with around 250 postmodern teenagers. Brooke is the speaker for Young Life Europe’s annual service project, a week-long camping experience to invite skeptics and non-skeptics into the adventure of serving the poor. Over the next week these international students from all of over Europe will help build playgrounds and work in Bulgarian orphanages. At night, all 250 will pack into a room for a Young Life club of carefully organized chaos. The pinnacle of each evening is Brooke’s talk on the person of Jesus.

While I worked with Young Life in Europe I had the opportunity to take students from Portugal to 2 of these service projects, in Romania and the Czech Republic. I know that this week holds the possibility of enormous life-transformation in the lives of these students. My heart is still with Sarah, Will, and Stefanie, as they’ve just arrived in Bulgaria with a group of students from Portugal.

Brooke’s husband, Tate, painted a bunch of canvases like the one above to use as part of her creative illustrations throughout the week. (Tate is also in Bulgaria leading his group of students from the UK.) Tonight Brooke opens with a talk from Mark 2, when Jesus heals (and forgives!) the paralytic who was lowered through the roof by his wild friends. The scene ends with everyone wondering aloud, “We’ve never seen anything like this.” Tonight, Brooke will be challenging these postmodern minds to begin taking a fresh look at Jesus.

I’d like it if you locked arms with me in praying for Brooke and for these spiritually-starved European kids, especially as I post little reminders over this week.

I’m not sure why we don’t celebrate today as a Holy Day. Maybe we could call it Stunned Saturday, and thank the Father that he always stands with us in the midst of our uncertainty. I’m sure on that sad Saturday the disciples were stunned silent and angry at God. I’m sure they found all of the Psalms that asked, “Where are you God?” and either whispered or screamed them aloud. I bet they remembered the days when Jesus stunned the crowds, like he did in Mark 2. May we all become more at home with all of our uncertainty, as we remember that He is still remarkably near us in our grief.

Comments
One Response to “Stunned Saturday in Sofia”
  1. Arianna says:

    Dear One,
    I had to look up the word “enigmatic.” Mysterious and obscure, eh?
    I asked my mom if today had a special name and she told me that it is called Holy Saturday. Holy, indeed.
    Shalom.

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