Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42
Perhaps you could say that in Rome, Paul,where the olive trees of the Seven Hillsstrung their pearls of rain against the sky.And yes, as I hike Glacier Parkwith a well-stocked pack, I can welcomeGod's ambassadors of fireweed and paintbrush,the psalmic rhythm of lake hitting shore.But as the refugee trudgesfrom Mogadishu to Dabaab, is she to catcha glimpse of antelope bone in the thicketand intuit the sufferings of the Son of Man?She wears her own nails and crown.An Eden of lizards surges at her heels,but she wonders at nothingbut the sore-studded daughter she left to dieon the road, and now, the babystrapped to her back: six poundsat one year old. He no longer criesbut flutters small breaths on her necklike the golden wings of mothsshe counts with worshipful attention.
Among other things, Holy Week always brings to mind the tension between thinking doctrinally about Christ and thinking historically about Jesus.
Holy Week and the art of losing
When I was a child, it was the mysterious shadows that attracted me to Holy Week. Now it’s something different.
He roamed quarries at Carraracaressing blocks of marble, tracing veinslike a blind manto find the Virgin within. Here,the limp arm hangs; here,the bent head of the mother;here, her murdered son.He coaxed her from stonechiseling in her face the memory ofSimeon's prophecy of a sword piercing her heart:a wholly inadequate portent for this,this hammer of deathharder than marble.
Jesus might have dieda dozen times before he died.An incidental death—tetanusfrom a nail, a splinter.A baptismal drowning.A drink from a tainted well.Rotten fish.Desert thirst.A stoning, a suddenpush over the edge,or a falling overboard in a storm.A choking by a demon on the loose,a bar room brawlat the local pub.So when it happened, it seemedlike someonegot it right. Right time,right reason,for God to let ithappen.
Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.
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