This week, as we prepare for the events of Holy Week, I’ve had a couple of insights into my own experience of what this time means. First of all, the other day someone asked me how I understand the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. I said that his death has a direct connection to the suffering in the world and of creation. His death is the death of slaves hunted down and killed, of First Nations villages razed to the ground, of First Nations children perishing in residential schools. His death is the death of abused women and Syrian children and Sudanese millions. His death takes place on a cross and in back alleys and on ice flows. His death is the willingness of countless people who will die for the liberation of every soul, and for the well-being of creation. His resurrection is the promise that somehow life will be wrenched from the graves of hopelessness and cynicism. His resurrection is the recurring miracle of offering peace rather than retribution, of breaking the cycle of violence and revenge. Of calling a halt to using long range missiles as some kind of perverse smack at an oppression that is centuries old and global in context. Somehow his death seems so much closer this year, so much more real. So much part of each moment of the day. And the promise of radical new beginnings, of active, passionate peace is more important and desperately needed than ever.
The other thing that occurred to me this week, is that that type of peace-making, that ability to love my enemy, to reach out constantly seeking reconciliation and oneness, is beyond me. I am indeed ‘fallen’; I cannot do this on my own. I cannot love the misogynist, I cannot make peace with the racist. I cannot figure out how to reach out a hand of friendship to someone who denies the fullness of life to others. For God’s sake, I can’t even get even get over the person who cuts me off in traffic!! I need this Holy Week, because the best I can do is walk with Jesus. The best I can do is not turn away. The best I can do is pray that in his willingness to take on the pain of the world, Jesus the Christ makes space to take on my hard-heartedness, and with some of that removed, I might have more space in my heart for grace. That’s my hope and my prayer. Please join me, and all your brothers and sisters in faith, on this week of walking in The Way of Christ.