“Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)
Despite the fact that earlier written accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry, found in Mark’s gospel, says that Jesus warned the disciples at least three times that he was going to suffer and die in Jerusalem, the disciples were truly blindsided and devastated by the events of Holy Week. I’m sure that right up until the time of Jesus’ arrest they were certain that Jesus would display a triumph of force over his enemies. When that response didn’t come, the feeling of failure must have been overwhelming.
It was only then—out of the ruins of that devastation—that God could rescue them from failure and point them towards a new reality and a new way of life based on the news of the Risen Christ. It was only through death that resurrection was possible.
I know that I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating again: I’m pretty sure that Easter is not primarily a child’s holiday—at least not from the religious side of things. Sure, baskets full of colored eggs and chocolate rabbits may hold some attraction for children, but Jesus and resurrection? It takes a few life experiences to gain a full appreciation for all that Easter can mean. It takes a few losses and a number of failures to help understand these things. I remember being fairly zeroed-in on the whole business of Easter as a child, but there was a lot I still had to piece together as I look back on it (and I’m still piecing things together!).
And to that end, I invite you to jump into the story to re-tell and re-live the story once again, this year. From Palm Sunday to Good Friday. From Good Friday and Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday. I invite you to catch the story in all of its fullness and to see where you find yourself in that drama. I invite you to share in the joy of Easter Sunday. A list of times for the worship services and special events of Holy Week are listed further on in the body of the Chapel Chimes.
May these days ahead truly be a time of blessing for you and those whom you love.
Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Jim Hoppert