Sermon for Passion
Sunday ~ March 29, 2015
is a day of drama: the beginning of holy week. This is the week of Christ’s
passion –- It means that the “doing” of a great, great love will take place.
This is the whole purpose of the story of Jesus – all else is introduction.
week Jesus said that his “hour” had come. We are at this hour with him…
Last Time: through the gates to the table
have already sung Hosannas to this king as he entered the city for the last
time. We have paved the way with praises singing, “All Glory, Laud and
have been told by folks from time to time, “This will be my last car or my last
home.” Time passes and the facts of aging become clear. At the beginning, life
is full of firsts. At the end, we come to last things.
also had his last supper. That was a special one… a time for best friends.
The Passover meal was also for guests and those who had nowhere to go. It was
a meal of friendship. A meal to remember.
Thursday and Friday David Goa was with us talking about Muslim Neighbors. We
heard stories of hospitality, sharing a meal, being with others in gentle ways.
We’ve been to special suppers. The host invites friends. The host knows
everyone and the gathering is a time to be together, meet new friends, to laugh
and feast with gladness.
had his last supper and we remember every week, we keep welcoming, keep
extending his grace and invitation to all. Jesus takes his last ride, his last
walk, his last look, his last breath. Just like we will…
arrest was aggressive. His friends wanted to fight. Instead, he moved forward
and asked them to stand back. The garden was his last time of freedom.
have been present when handcuffs and shackles were put on others. I have asked
“Is this necessary?” and have been stared down by officers and Emergency
Response Team members. And prisoners have given me that,“It’s okay, I know
what is coming” look.
had talked about this. He knew what was coming
shoving, mockery, name-calling, shaming are often tools of force. There is no
turning back. It is too late for a change of heart. The Gospel of Mark will
not be quiet. We must watch. We often feel helpless. But we will not forget.
will we forget today when we see people hurt. We will stand against aggressive
manhandling, ruthless violence and brutality. We will help people live. It is
what neighbours do.
then it’s over, isn’t it?
hour ran out at a cross. We have not forgotten. Nobody put him there. He
went on his own. Politicians may have been complicit. Religious game playing
may have been present. Police may have been rough. Soldiers may have been
brutal. Friends may have turned on him or turned away from him.
cross stands as an image for us that God now knows the human condition
personally. God now knows that love is hard, pain is terrifying, and thoughts
can send us to despair. God knows personally that on our own we are lost.
are not lost. The story tells us that in life and pain, we have been joined by
anything come out of such deep, deep darkness? We remember the seed. With so
much trouble and terror and torment among us, we are sorry creatures. This
hour of great, great love and this week of last things is so strange.
moves through the worst we can imagine: injustice, humiliation, suffering,
abandonment and desolation. He knows the darkness of our fears. He knows our
struggle to trust in God. Whether we think of Jesus or ourselves, when the
worst has come and all is lost, and we cry out that it is all over…
have to hold each other up, but join me this week as we follow Jesus and let’s
talk again next Sunday.