“This year has actually added a poignancy and intensity to Holy Week from all that I’m observing in my own heart and in my congregation.”
While Jesus is indeed alive, the reality of God’s Kingdom is far from being fully realized in our world. Ultimately, rushing to the goodness of Easter is part of an escapist mentality only afforded to the most privileged among us.
The people who die from COVID-19 will come from every walk of life in every town in the country. But in aggregate, the pattern shows now and will continue to show that deaths by the disease are political deaths – ones set into motion by racism and oppression.
These days will transform us. Let’s do what we can to ensure that transformation is toward justice, toward peace, toward compassion.
After this pandemic is over, after things return to “normal,” we will still have the scars from our experience. And how well these scars heal is directly related to how we treat our wounds and the wounds of our neighbors now.
David declared that even though he walked through the valley of the shadow of death, goodness and mercy would follow him always and that God would be with him forever. This year, this Holy Week, we have to find a way to believe that.
Though life now feels like a wild, roller coaster ride of emotions, we are part of something much bigger than the unfolding devastation of the coronavirus pandemic. Our lives, even now, are woven into a great sacred story.
We can hang onto Jesus with the right hand, grasp our brothers and sisters with the left, and take one bold step into the gathering gloom of Holy Week. That’s what Lent has always been about. That’s what it’s about now, amid a global pestilence that stalks in the darkness.
Good Friday isn’t just a set-up for Easter Sunday and the ham and new shoes that accompany that day. Good Friday is about grief. It’s about death and dying, pain and loss, emptiness and hopelessness. To beam the light in too quickly will render us unable to see.