Wednesday 23rd April 2014
We come again to the most important days of the Church year. We have walked with Jesus once more through the days of Lent, and tried to prepare our hearts as best we can, so that we face this most significant time with reverence and perhaps some glimpses of new understanding.
The events of Holy Week take us on a roller-coaster of reactions and responses. We plunge from the highs of Palm Sunday to the gathering shadows of Maundy Thursday with such speed that the contrast in the emotions we feel can be so overwhelming that we are tempted to push them aside. We don't want to think about them, so we hurry on to the brilliance of Easter morning rather than stay with the shadows.
Perhaps this is because we recognise our own complicity in the unfolding story; and we are reluctant to be so involved. But we are involved in spite of ourselves. We protest with Peter as Christ kneels to wash our feet; we question with the disciples as he shares bread and wine with us and shows us a new depth of meaning in those humble objects; we watch fearfully from the shadows and deny we know him when others recognise us as his followers. We want to be different, but we know in our hearts that surrounded by all that hatred and danger, we too would have joined the crowd in shouting 'Crucify!', or maybe we would have run away to hide in fear, our despair growing as our hopes crashed around us.
But perhaps we have to honestly face our faithlessness, and our fears, and our despair, in order to glimpse the significance of Easter morning. Because the Resurrection is a message of hope and victory against all the odds, in spite of everything that tells us differently.
The world tells us that life is fragile and haphazard, and reminds us day by day that we are going to die. The Resurrection tells us that God’s love for his world is faithful and transforming, and reminds us day by day that we will live forever.
So as we remember and reflect on the events of the coming days again, let us be prepared to face the shadows, waiting for the moment when the brilliance of Easter morning shines its amazing Resurrection light into all the darkest corners of our hearts and renews our lives again.