The most important weekend of the church year is fast approaching.
On Good Friday, the church will do the same thing it has done for nearly 2000 years. We will stand on the sidelines and watch the first part of a story unfold. A man will be tried – his crime being to put God’s love for all people above the establishment’s self-interest – and found guilty. Then he will be executed on a cross, a painful, shameful death.
We will quietly leave church, our heads hung low, and wait. And we will spend the next day or so waiting – and do nothing. We will wait and experience, for just a few brief hours, what it feels like to despair, to be without hope, without God’s presence and love.
But on Easter Sunday we will gather together, again doing what the church has done for nearly two millennia. We will watch the story’s second half. God will raise Christ, witnessing to the truth: that God’s love cannot be contained by human failings, that God’s life can conquer death and despair. And we will celebrate and rejoice.
On Good Friday and Easter Sunday we will travel first to the depths of despair, and then to the heights of joy. This season is the key moment of Christian faith. It shows us that through God’s love despair gives way to joy and hope, old life gives way to new. And the best news is … it happens, in ways great and small, every single day.