Holy Week, 2015

Dear Partners in Ministry,

“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.  Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.”  (John 20:19-20)

The poet, John Dunne, wrote:
He died! 
And with him perished all that we hold dear;
Hope lay beside him in the sepulcher,
Love grew corpse cold, and all things beautiful died when he died.

I imagine that must have been how those first followers of Jesus felt as they sat in that cold, dark room with the doors locked tight.  But then something happened, something unusual, something unexpected, something miraculous – Jesus rose from the dead – and everything changed!

The poet, John Dunne, continues:
But then he rose!
And with him hope arose, and life and light.
They said, “not Christ, but Death, died yesternight.”
And joy and truth and all things virtuous rose when he rose!

It was during Holy Week when the pastor went to visit 94-year-old Helen in the nursing home.  The pastor was reading to her from the gospel about the suffering and death of Jesus, when Helen interrupted, “Oh no, is he dead?”

The pastor continued reading the story, quickly getting to the resurrection, and Helen sighed, “Oh, isn’t that good news!”  Helen experienced the presence of the risen Jesus in that reading from scripture.

During this Holy Week, as we once again read and hear the gospel story about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, may we like those first disciples and like 94-year-old Helen, experience the presence of the risen Jesus.  And as we experience the presence of the risen Jesus, may we like those first disciples and like 94-year-old Helen, be filled with a peace that surpasses all human understanding, and a joy that sustains us even in the midst of all the sorrows and struggles of life.  For we know that God loves us, and that nothing, not even death, can ever take that love away.
He died! 
And with him perished all that we hold dear;
Hope lay beside him in the sepulcher,
Love grew corpse cold, and all things beautiful died when he died.
But then he rose!
And with him hope arose, and life and light.
They said, “not Christ, but Death, died yesternight.”
And joy and truth and all things virtuous rose when he rose!

Peace & Joy in the Crucified & Risen Christ,

Steve Delzer
Bishop

Facebook