I’m feeling conflicted this morning. I know that we are moving swiftly toward the events of the most solemn week of the year for Christians – from Palm Sunday to the crucifixion and death of Jesus. It’s difficult for us to understand in a visceral way the pain impact of those events because we already know the end of the story, that is the Resurrection of Jesus that we celebrate on Easter Sunday. It’s a bit like looking out on a winter landscape with a temperature of 16F degrees when the calendar and all our sensibilities say it should be spring. (Sorry. I know I sound like a broken record but it’s been an unusually difficult winter.) We know the outcome – or at least have hope because of what history and past seasons have told us. Seeds breaking open lead to future flowering, just as the broken body of Jesus was raised from the dead into a transformed existence to which we are all called as well. The latter is more difficult to grasp because we have not seen the miracle with our own eyes as we have in nature each year. Perhaps, however, for those of us living in this unforgiving winter, this year gives us an advantage; our expectations of the “end of the story” have been disappointed again and again as the cold continues to seep into our bones. How long will we wait? What is the level of our trust that spring will eventually come? Silly questions, I know – but the temptation to despair is real.
In whatever situation has caused that kind of feeling in our lives- if not the weather – let us sit in the uncertainty of not knowing the outcome. Maybe then we will understand what the disciples of Jesus were feeling as the mood of the crowds changed and the fate of Jesus became more uncertain day by day. Let us try to live the remaining days before Easter in the space of those who lived these events for the first time in history, conscious that, for them, it was faith that had to take them to resurrection and there was no precedent for that.