I convey to you all greetings for a blessed time of critical reflections, meditations and prayers during this solemn holy week and Easter festivities. We contemplate with genuine prayers our journey with Christ in his final week of his earthly ministry beginning from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to his resurrection. After the loud hosannas, all glory loud and honor and ride on ride, we subdue in humility to gaze upon his most painful and cruel suffering and death, but also in his glorious resurrection. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, John 14:6.
In the resurrection of Christ, we have new individual life, new family, new community, new Church, new nation and new humanity. We need that new life Christ won for us in defeating the strong power of death, after all the experiences at all levels of our human endeavors.
In his resurrection, Christ gathers us together despite our diversity as one community of faith terribly invaded by coronavirus since 2020. In revisiting the last Easter event, the pandemic became the talk-back show causing much fear to our shores. The doors of our homes, workplaces (offices) and churches were forced to close by the national authority. Fear was the ultimate driving nightmare; manipulating us to live with mixed feelings and intrinsic anxiety that the worst might be yet to come. Public and private spaces from around the world including us were subdued in tears of pain and suffering as vulnerable individuals and families lost loved ones without bidding them proper liturgical services and ceremonial goodbyes. The church as the Body of Christ were left behind locked doors without any liberty and freedom to obtain security and secret spaces for healing and restoration.
Even now the scars of the pandemic continue to engulf us, silently creeping in our societies, communities, families and nations to destabilize our ‘moral normality’. Our moral community, our moral cultures, our moral diversity, our moral story-telling, our moral church and even the moral God. The pandemic have truly tested our ability to recognize our inability. In fact, our moral normal life was somehow rebooted correctly by the severity of the invasive force of the pandemic.
Our journey together throughout this Holy Week should reminded us of the magnitude we lack in our ingratitude, our self-centeredness, our ignorance, our intolerance emanating from our personal interest and advantage by continuing to ultimately wounding and slaying others as was with Jesus. Most of the time we stand in opposition to our own personal assessment of our lives which increasingly impacts adverse arrogance on the needs and concerns of those around us. There is now so much self-centeredness posturing danger to those who are vulnerable and less privileged in the community. The events of Holy Week uncover the fragile state of our humanity during these trying times, but reveals how God is active in our fragile experiences and vulnerability in granting perfect and permanent freedom.
As we are gathered again by the holy events of Christ, we beheld our thoughts high as a community of faith. We may feel disoriented by our dis-engagement of last Easter celebration as members of the Body of Christ, but Christ gives new hope, new life and new relationship and connectedness. In Christ we are gradually re-engaging the missing piece of our mission and ministry as we are being filled and empowered by the overwhelming power of the resurrection of Christ. Despite the somewhat feeling of uncleanliness and impurity due to our resistance, Christ restores us holistically and purely through his resurrection.
However, it is true that we often caught off-guard by the tensions of the disoriented spaces to have positivity in our experiences of vulnerabilities and uncertainties as one preacher once said;
We can turn this experience into a positive space where relationality and reconciliation are cultivated. Where Easter Friday and Easter Sunday, death and resurrection, individual and community, economy and ecology, humanity and earth, God and the world, are mutually reconnected and reconciled. In fact, we needed this disoriented space to reassess ourselves and our contribution to the violent horrors and crucifixion of many lives, including the earth, and a liberator named Jesus. A space to bridge and reconnect what we has disconnected through our harmful theologies, policies, and attitudes.
As we walk in the path of Jesus throughout this holy week, trying to find answers to the questions posed by our disoriented experiences, we are encouraged by the resilient stories and acts of Jesus Christ, he defied and defeated the odds of suffering. He grants us wisdom and knowledge to realize that God does not work through messes we created, or others created for us, but rather give us hope in the ‘new creation’ promised by the events of the cross and resurrection. Hope that restores a radically new realization and new self-refurnishing made possible by the very vertical and horizontal relational ways we have neglected for so long, such as love and kindness. May we all observe the Holy Week events and Easter celebrations with responsibility; celebrating what Christ did for us because we responded with responsibility.