Just Thinking - Holy Week 2016
"To be deeply Christian is to know and to live out the conviction that the whole human family dwells continuously at the intersection of time and eternity... The abiding conviction that history and eternity continuously intersect is grounded in the most basic of Christian affirmations. For our scriptures insist that in the days of Emperor Augustus the eternal Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, born in Bethlehem when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Further, our creeds affirm that this Christ- 'God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God'- was crucified in the time and under the jurisdiction of Pontius Pilate and rose from the dead after three days. To take these assertions seriously is to be bound to the conviction that God and human history are intertwined."
-Laurence Hull Stookey, Calendar - Christ's Time for the Church
Yes, intertwined even now. As we begin this holiest of weeks, I see myself in many of the characters that play pivotal roles in making this week one that we never forget. I see myself in Peter, who swears (on a stack of Bibles?) that he will not deny Jesus but will go with him all the way. At the first hint of pressure and conflict, Peter runs fast to distance himself from this scene. I see myself in the High Priest and other religious leaders of the day (After all aren't I a part of the hierarchy today?) who wish to silence this One who is constantly questioning my deeply held values and standards. I see myself in the sad and lonely Pilate who wants to free Jesus but, because of peer pressure from above and below and because he wants everyone to be happy and so can't fit the pressure, he condemns Jesus to death.
Pilate does ask, "What is truth?" And with him I wonder the same every single day of this journey, but especially during this week, the holiest of all weeks. To be honest, I'm not really sure I want such truth (but don't be upset with me please, I want you to be happy).
Over the next few days, I hope you reread the stories with new eyes and an open heart. I encourage you to consider what it means to be human, broken, sinful, doubtful, and even fearful that this might all be true. I encourage you to also be hopeful that Easter will break forth again and we might have a resurrection.
(Thank you to the Ellensburg UMC and Pastor Jen for sharing their thoughts and words for this article)