Sunshine 04.01.2021

Holy Week has a new meaning for me during this COVID-19 pandemic. I do believe that it illustrates why we need hope in what, at times, seems to be a hopeless world. The pandemic has been with us for over a year now. But we are beginning to see the world re-emerge. Not quite resurrection, but it is the hope of a new beginning. But even if the emergence falters, Jesus remains our hope. We need to be patient. We are like his followers as he entered Jerusalem. We want Jesus to do things our way. To work a bit of magic and make all this virus go away. To demonstrate his ultimate power over the world and make it the way we want it to be. But Jesus does not work that way. Jesus did not become King, and Jesus does not magically make our lives just the way we want them. What Jesus does is make a promise. That he knows what we know. Feels what we feel. And walks with us through the darkest valleys and the highest mountains. This week, we try to understand that.
 
Like most churches, we at John McMillan Presbyterian Church traditionally experiences Holy Week in many ways. I say “experience” because we try to put ourselves in the shoes of those who were there with Jesus as he traveled to the cross – and then returned alive. We start our Easter journey on Thursday evening at 7:30 with our Tenebrae Service in the cold, cold parking lot. A service of “shadows”. The world gets dark as the disciples have their last Passover with Jesus. Someone betrays, others sleep, they all run away in the end. We listen to the story of Jesus’ last 24 hours with scripture readings and music. It all ends in darkness and silence.
 
Next, we gather at noon on Good Friday for a vigil where we hear the story of the crucifixion and try to understand what it has to do with us.
Saturday is silent, as we, like the disciples, are … well … speechless. Then! Then! It is Resurrection Day! We gather at 10:00 for a worship service in the parking lot and celebratory that old, old story. The one that we never get tired of. Jesus Christ is risen today. He is risen indeed.
And by the way, who knew first? Join us Easter Sunday and hear about that when Pastor Jeff Preaches, “The First Apostle”.