Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Shrinking Space of Jesus' World

Wednesday of Holy Week is a day to consider the gathering darkness of Jesus' world as he moves closer to the cross. According to scripture, during this week of Jesus' life he traveled only between Bethany and Jerusalem, a distance of about two miles. Christian pilgrims around the world are pausing on this day, as the remembrance of the passion and death of Jesus draws near once again.

This evening many churches will hold a service of Tenebrae, where the space in which the worshippers gather will be gradually darkened. It will feel as if our world is shrinking. I plan to attend such a service at King of Peace in Kingsland, Georgia. There we will consider what Jesus must have been thinking. We know he is headed to the cross, and we believe he needs and wants our company.

Mark’s Gospel sheds some light on Wednesday of Holy Week. According to chapter 14, on this day the enemies of Jesus were looking for a way to kill him secretly. They did not want to cause a political uproar or they might lose their jobs. Imagine their delight when Judas, one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples, went straight to Jesus’ enemies and offered to betray Jesus into their hands. Scripture says “they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money.”

Meanwhile, over in Bethany, a nameless woman was anointing Jesus’ head with “very costly ointment” in advance of his burial. Jesus had been telling his followers for some time that he would have to die in Jerusalem. They had all been living with this open secret, and a woman at the home of Simon the Leper finally believed. She believed that Jesus knew what he was talking about and that his death would happen very soon.

Pastor Linda
The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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