April 6, 2020 "Holy Week, Headwinds, and Hope"
April 6, 2020, 8:00 AM

Holy Week

Holy week is here. It begins with the majesty and celebration that is Palm Sunday. Festive crowds, misunderstanding the true nature of who Jesus was, proclaimed that HE was going to be their new king. Those false proclamations set the empire and the establishment on edge then, just as the true proclamation of the Gospel does today.

On Maundy Thursday, we turn our attention from public adoration to private communion. On Good Friday we focus on the suffering that Jesus willingly went through on the cross. For us. Wow. Holy Saturday passes by most of us unnoticed, but this year, with more time to contemplate deeper things, we may notice it a bit more.

All of this drives us inexorably to Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate THE resurrection. The one that makes all other resurrections possible. It’s truly amazing and it gives me hope, but more about that at the end of this post.

Headwinds

Many of you know I love biking. I have four different pedal bikes, for different riding conditions. One thing they all have in common is a susceptibility to headwinds. My cruiser, my fat tire, my road bike and even my E-bike all get slowed down by head winds. (If you don’t know, there is no secret code going on here. A headwind, is a wind that blows head on when riding.)

When the wind is at your back, life is beautiful. You bike way faster, and you feel like you could take on the world and win! When the wind is in your face, it can really take a lot out of you. Everything seems herder, every mile takes longer, and you truly start to wonder why you are even out there on a bike!

Most of the time, though, the wind direction is pretty constant. We experience a headwind one way and tailwind when we go the other way. We celebrate the joy when it’s helping us and we say nasty things under our breath when it’s slowing us down. But it’s the SAME wind! And we are doing the SAME thing! We cannot bless it one way and curse it the next.

What does this have to do with Holy Week 2020 in the American church? I’ll tell you. The same thing that makes our isolation so difficult is what makes our life so amazing. When times are great, the joys of living in a connected community, caring for each other as best we can, and doing life together are truly amazing. It’s the ultimate tailwind. However, when we have to isolate, to protect the weakest among us and hopefully, prayerfully slow down a beast that we cannot see with our eyes, it’s a headwind. But we are sill doing the same thing! We are still connected. We are still caring for each other. We are still doing life together. It’s just harder. And slower. And different. And I still have Hope.

Hope

I have hope. Why? Because this year, more than any other time in the past hundred years, we as an American church may be living a pace of life that is in sync with the time of Jesus. Think about it:

  • Life is centered around the home.
  • Meals, education and faith development are all done with your family.
  • There is a constant dread, that something, somewhere is going seriously wrong. We don’t know what it is or if it will impact our lives, but we hear Truth from a God who promises that He is over and above the chaos and fear we struggle with on a day to day basis.

We do not know when things will return to “normal”, or what “normal” will even look like. But like the first Christians, we hold faithfully to the promises of our God. The promise that death and the grave will NOT have the last word, and that the glory of the resurrection will be a reality in our life.

In God’s Grip,
Pastor Mark

 

 


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