by Elaine Lindridge.
Talking to a colleague last week I discovered that she’s flying out to see her family in Greece on Easter Monday. She told me that in Greece, Easter is celebrated one week later this year. So that basically means that like us all she has already journey from Palm Sunday and through Holy Week. But unlike us, today she starts all over again.
She’s already journeyed from the celebrations of Palm Sunday, the gravity of Gethsemane, the horror of Good Friday, the lament and doubt of Holy Saturday, through to the joy of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Now she faces Holy Week afresh!
Let me tell you, my brain struggles to comprehend this. It must feel strange to say the least. But as I pondered this, it occurred to me that so many of the themes of Easter are not merely restricted to Holy Week. We don’t restrict our celebration of Jesus as the Resurrected Christ just to Easter Sunday, so why then should we even consider not acknowledging the other subjects at various points during the year from one Easter to the next?
Through life, through a year, there are aspects of Holy Week that we might feel like we go through again and again – almost like a spiritual groundhog day. In a sense, we experience Easter over and over again.
Doubt and confusion isn’t confined just to Holy Saturday. There are occasions right through the year when we may struggle with feelings of uncertainty. Events that leave us reeling and asking ‘Where are you Jesus?’. There will undoubtedly be times for some when faith just does not make sense.
Death and loss aren’t confined to Good Friday. Whether that be the pain of losing a loved one, or dealing with the bereavement we feel when the events of life let us down.
Betrayal isn’t confined to last Thursday. Whether that be the betrayal we experience from friends or family members, systems or structures, employers or leaders.
Silence isn’t confined to last Wednesday. Whether that be the kind of silence we need before we take a deep breath in order to face something difficult. Or the kind of silence that helps us restore our balance again when every in life is changing.
Acts of extravagant generosity aren’t confined to last Tuesday when we remembered the woman anointing Jesus. We see a world in need and our only response at times is to be excessively and sacrificially generous.
Anger at the state of the world (and maybe the Church) isn’t confined to last Monday when we remembered that Jesus turned the tables over in the temple. Anger at the injustices we see or experience can break in at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. God may ask us to turn over tables at any point during the year!
Acclamations and shouts of hosanna are not confined to Palm Sunday. Every day is a day to proclaim that Jesus is coming.
It’s all part of the tapestry of life. Whether last week for us, or this week for my colleague in Greece, the one constant through each of these days is Jesus who is with us through every step and stumble of life. Our unmovable, faithful companion and friend. The one who reigns as Lord and King…yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever more.