Please see Bishop Lowry's video message for Holy Week at the end of this blog post.
“As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
(Luke 19:37-40, NRSV)
I thank you for your faithfulness and creativity!
“and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.” (John 19:17)
Biblical scholars talk about “Psalms of Lament.” They are places of special grief and anguish. Psalm 74 is one such example. It speaks to the grief and lament we feel both individually and collectively during this COVID-19 Pandemic.
“O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.” (Psalm 19:1-2)
Even as we offer thanks and praise for the creativity of how we are staying connected and holding services via our online worship, this is a time of lament and grief. This is not the Holy Week we have planned for. Love ones are ill and dying in our communities and around the world. There is feeling of oppression and imprisonment. How long, O Lord, will this pandemic last!
Pause reverently here.
Our grief is real. Our loss of life, of jobs, of possibilities, of health – is genuine. In small measure, we are tasting sacrifice. Christ’s was so much greater. We must be careful that we do not jump too quickly from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. Come to the cross. Share again in lament. Psalm 80, one of the great Psalms of Lament speaks for us. “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” (Psalm 80:7)
Here at the cross is the hinge of history. It is here we must come and join those who gaze at distance upon the Christ - the Savior. Our very future comes through the cross!
“Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us. …
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.” (Psalm 85:4, 7)