Holy Week to Eastertide: No Cross, No Crown

From the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday through the Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day, life at St. Peter’s provides time and space for a majority of our parish community to be radical in engaging the “holiest of weeks” on the Church Year Calendar. Several weeks ago, I read, “The humiliation of the crucifixion is the glory of the exaltation of Jesus. There is no exaltation apart from crucifixion, “no cross, no crown!”

Radical is what comes to mind as I ponder who people of faith are called to be in 2018th year of Lord. As we prioritize our days, I offer that journeying with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, oddly fixed on the events of his earthly life, crucifixion, and resurrection through intentional presence for the Holy Week – Easter services, will transform and empower us for whatever may come our way. Remembering is an essential part of practicing Christianity.

In 2015, James Carroll reflected in the Boston Globe on “the wicked irony of Holy Week” and ended with these words, which have affected me greatly: The misremembering of Jesus Christ did not cause all the world’s ills, any more than Christian anti-Judaism alone caused Hitler. But to read and hear the texts of Holy Week, with their relentless scapegoating of “the Jews,” is inevitably to confront the way in which a movement full of good intentions can go wrong. Wanting to alleviate suffering, the Jesus people compounded it. To reckon with that mystery is to confront a deeper one — that every human project can be complicit with the inflicting of hurt. If there is to be redemption, it begins in facing that.

Just as we were called on Ash Wednesday to observe a Holy Lent, now we are called on Palm Sunday to observe a Holy Week, specifically the three-day experience of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Great Vigil of Easter (or Easter Day). Radical is one of the many ways to describe our Lord. With God’s help, may we too become radical in our ways of being.

Blessings and peace as we try,

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector