I resonate with the words of Rev. Sarah Are, the poet in our Lenten devotional materials this spring, who writes in her Palm Sunday poem (on page 37 of the devotional book):
I wonder if Jesus could feel his heartbeat
In his throat, the way I do when I’m afraid.…
I wonder, because time has taught us
That it is not uncommon
For a peaceful protest
To start or end
With an unjust death.…
I want to hold what matters most with both hands.
I resonate with these words and use them to invite you to hold Holy Week in both your hands this year and in your heart as we revisit again the story of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. Time has taught us in the past year that peaceful protests are deeply connected with unjust deaths. That they may start peacefully and end in violence. That while we must band together in abiding by safety protocols to create herd immunity to a virus, the measures to combat this pandemic do not soften the anger festering under the surface of our social structure. Instead, isolation and fear exacerbate the dis-eases of racism, mental illness, gun violence and distrust of our neighbors.
That is why I want to hold Holy Week in both hands to experience and, perhaps, understand more deeply than ever that the unconditional love of God is tangible in the life, death and new life of Jesus of Nazareth. I want to open my heart to this Love that is God who abides with us in the depths of our pain and the heights of our joy. I invite you, along with all the Plymouth staff, to join me in holding Holy Week with both your hands. Even though we must stay socially distanced, Love will join our hearts through the stories and the music of this week.
Here are the highlights:
Hope to “see” you during this holy and fateful week!
Blessings on the journey,
PS!! The celebration of Easter does not end on Easter day. It continues into the 50 days of the Easter season. Join with your faith community for “Plymouth Reads” in preparation for our first Visiting Scholar day of 2021, May 16th, with Wes Granberg-Michaelson, author of Without Oars: Casting Off into a Life of Pilgrimage. Books available in the church office (call to make sure Barb or another staff person is there), $10, cash or check! More info on book group discussions coming in the Thursday Overview.
The Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson, Associate Minister, is a writer, storyteller, and contributor to Feasting on the Word, a popular biblical commentary. She is also the writer of sermon-stories.com, a lectionary-based story-commentary series. Read more