Our world’s response to COVID-19 has finely tuned our ears to the messages of this Holy Week.
Our ears are finely tuned to the experiences of our Lord Jesus:
- Our ears are finely tuned to the isolation he felt, before Herod and Pilate, and the soldiers as they struck him.
- Our ears are finely tuned to his lonely cries on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
- Our ears are finely tuned to the silence of the closed door of his tomb outside Jerusalem.
Our ears are also finely tuned to the “reason for the season.”
- Our ears are finely tuned to the message of human mortality as the prophet Isaiah told us, “All people are like grass that withers.” (Isaiah 40)
- Our ears are finely tuned to the message that sin and death that are tightly connected, as St Paul reminds us, “the death he died, he died for sin, once for all.” (Romans 6)
- Our ears are finely tuned to the final cry from the cross, “It is finished.” (John 19)
With our ears tuned to the messages of Holy Week, we are well prepared for what is ahead. Good Friday is not the end of the story. We know what is coming after Good Friday, because we have rehearsed this story year after year, to be well prepared for times like this world pandemic. There will be the dawn of Easter Sunday and the news of resurrection.
We live as people of hope, because this Holy Week and Easter story is the story of the love of God for us. Our ears have been tuned to the message: God is for us!
In his letter to the Romans, chapter 8, the Apostle Paul sends us into our “off-site” worship this coming weekend, to tune our hearts to the hope of the Gospel:
“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8)
I pray that the hope of the Gospel would spread amongst your family and loved ones, that together you might shout with one voice, “He is Risen indeed. Hallelujah.”