Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why Easter? What is this all about? What is “Holy Week” anyway? What’s the big deal? Is there more to this than plastic eggs with little surprises in them and new clothes? Although I’ve been a church-goer most of my life, the much of the reasoning for this spring celebration with the changeable date escaped me most of that time.

The week starts off with such joy--

We’ve seen it—Jesus entering the holy city with victory and adulation! What excitement we feel in this triumph! We sing together with joy over the hope set before us. Surely with this adulation and victory, all enemies will be vanquished, and peace and victory soon arrive. People praise the name of God with great hope. Hearts beat with anticipation with the expectation that God’s glory will soon be revealed.

Surely this is the time when all oppression lifted forever.

And yet, there is a chill in the air. There is a menace in the shouts of triumph and victory. What is this undercurrent that casts a shadow over the joy? God’s Beloved Son is about to be crowned King, Lord, ruler over all. But . . . what do these voices say? What are these irate shouts that silence the songs of joy?

The words pour from outraged throats—we hear them, first in whisper, then growing louder and louder. The words “crucify Him, crucify Him” penetrate the laughing crowd. The sounds of angry whips and pounding nails beat as drums underneath the songs of hope.

Surely something is wrong. What is the will of God here? Isn’t it for victory? Isn’t it to crush all enemies under God’s feet? How do we stop the blackness coming our way? Why doesn’t God stop this? The words, “Crucify Him:” grow in power. More voices join in—even some of the ones who had sung praises just a few days before. Where is God? Doesn’t God see this happening to the Son?

Things spin out of control. How can we understand? Will this ever make sense?

Yes, this week is the time when Christians all over the world seek to remember the events of that first week as events unfolded and tragedy and blackness overtook the world. “Crucify Him!” they cried. And on the blackest of Fridays, all hope appears to die. Yet even then so see the tiniest glimmer of hope when these words flow forth, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Yes, why Easter? Because God loves too much to leave us in death. Why Easter? Because God gives life. But at such a cost. Let us go into this week of remembrance with grateful and expectant hearts. The Resurrection is just around the corner. At Krum United Methodist Church, we will have services at 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday evening, April 2-6, to encourage that remembrance and prepare us for unimaginable joy. All are welcome to join us.

Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas, Pastor
Krum UMC,