- The Inbetween Time
I’m writing this on Maundy Thursday, looking forward to this evening when we’ll be celebrating the passover at Andrew and Sj’s home in Newhaven. We’re in the middle of Holy Week. Jesus rode into Jerusalem after the ressurection of Lazarus, and having heard about the event crowds came out to cheer him in. He went to the temple and turned over the tables of the money changers, calling attention to the way the priests had desecrated what was holy. I do wonder if his ferver was in part caused by the knowledge of what was to come next. He was to celebrate the passover with his friends, be handed over to the authorities, tortured, nailed to a cross, and left to die.
We tend to skip straight through holy week to the miracle of Easter Sunday simply because the dark place between pasover and Sunday is almost unbearable. Mary watched her son die, staying with him throughout his ordeal so that he wouldn’t be alone. Most of his friends fled, thinking of themselves and their own safety; Just the one special man that Jesus loved came to the cross with Mary – and Jesus, even in the midst of his torturous pain, asked them to take care of each other. (John 19: 25-27)
When he died I think there must have been such numbness in the minds and hearts of those there. Joseph of Arimathaea took his body to a tomb and because it was the sabbath (the sabbath began at sundown on Friday) the body was simply wrapped until the women could come back to bury him properly at first light on Sunday. Then the dark time, the time of unknowing, the bitter loss and dark grave.
My Grandparents used to take my sister and I up onto the hills of the Peak District. The picture here is Mam Tor, from today’s Guardian newspaper. It’s a place that can be stunningly beautiful and dangerously desolate. It has always touched my Spirit in a way no other place ever has. The moment I saw the picture I was set squarely down into the events of Holy week, the moment when hope is lost and despair numbs the mind. The sun is low in the sky and I can’t tell whether it is rising or setting.
Holy week doesn’t just invite us into the miracle of ressurection, it dares us to look into the darkness of the days in the tomb. It asks us to visit there, feel the loss, and remember that this too is a part of the story. We know that the story ends well, that the sun comes up, and that Jesus rises from the tomb. But until then, the bleak landscape calls to us and dares us to travel it.
Monday (Every Monday) 7:00pm – 9:00pm Young adults group at Laura and Phoebe’s home in Brighton. For more details speak to Pastoral Support team member Andrew Ramage on 07905 537618
Tuesday April 22nd Worship 7:00pm. Discussion group 7:30pm – 8:30pm. This week’s theme: The Bible book of Jonah.
Saturday April 26th 400pm – 7:00pm – Social gathering at Jaz and Jean’s home. Bring a dish to share. Come and meet Barb Crabtree, MCC’s Chief Director of operations, and her partner Catherine Dearlove, (who you might know!) as we hang out together and simply enjoy one another’s company. Come and have fun!