Beloved of Christ,
As we enter Holy Week we do so in the midst of rising conflicts in the Middle East, ongoing struggles for justice in our own country, and an unthinkable airline catastrophe caused by the co-pilot. In the face of these dark narratives, we come as a community of faith to the narrative of Holy Week. As we enter into this story again through our worship, beginning with Palm Sunday, I am reminded of how profoundly “this worldly” is the narrative of God’s redemptive activity.
We cannot read this story apart from our engagement with the other narratives at play in our lives. As Jesus rides into Jerusalem as Israel’s messianic king, he does so in a counter-narrative to the reign of the Roman Caesar founded on violence and domination, and as a counter narrative to a religious establishment which focuses on the minutiae of the law as they are careful to “tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds,” and have forgotten its heart as they “neglect justice and the love of God.”
The question which Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, his death and resurrection posed then and poses now, is on which narrative will we stake our lives and give ourselves to – the narrative of redemptive love which births justice and peace in our world, or another.
-Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA