The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead
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Holy Communion      14th April 2019
Holy Week Matters
Jeremy Fletcher

A reflection before the singing of the Passion on Palm Sunday 2019


This week matters.


It matters to the Gospel writers, who devote a quarter, or a third, or up to half of their writing on the last week of Jesus’s earthly life. John gives seven chapters to one evening.


It matters to those who shared this week with Jesus. As you will remember the smallest details of a significant time, especially around the dying and death of a loved one,  so Jesus’s friends, and enemies, remembered the events from his entry into Jerusalem until his trial and execution… the intimacies of how his body was tortured and the manner of his dying…the tendernesses of how his body was removed from such horror and laid to supposed rest.


This week matters because we know what is to come, but the glories of next Sunday do not eclipse the devastations of these Holy days. It matters that the divine Son of God walks the way of the cross. 


It matters that the best and worst of human actions are thrown at him –  all the good and evil processes and actions of justice and civil society and principalities and powers It matters that it is Jesus the Christ who knows agony and rejection and isolation and physical pain and exhaustion and abandonment.


This is not annulled by what will come on the first day of the week. The resurrection does not mean Christ’s suffering has never been. The risen Christ bears the glorious scars when enthroned in glory. 


This week matters because today people are in agony and rejection and isolation and physical pain and exhaustion and abandonment. This week matters because the good and evil processes and actions of justice and civil society and principalities and powers are as much on show today as they were then. 


This week matters because the Cross is God encountering, enfolding, embracing all this, and squeezing the death out of it that the world might have life. That is why we will look the passion full in the face now, and in the days to come. 


This week matters. In it God has redeemed the world. 

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