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Reflection - Holy Week - JB

Reflection for Holy Week  - All Saints, Denmead

by Revd Canon John Byrne

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, 

his mercies never come to an end; 

they are new every morning; 

great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

A day at a time.  A week at a time.  A life at a time.

None of us remembers a time quite like this for ourselves, our families, our friends and neighbours, our village, our nation and our world.  

Has there ever been a time when an almost universally shared crisis has touched almost all human life at the same time, in the same way, though to different degrees.  It’s a truly 21st century phenomenon where travel for work, leisure and migration has enabled the spread of a dangerous virus in Asia, Europe and America.  

Had it been a film made 20 or 30 years ago it would have been the stuff of speculation.  But it’s real and we face its causes and consequences together in sickness and in health, in economic cost and personal disruption. 

Nor is Covid-19 is a respecter of this week, Holy Week, when on Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the acclamation of the crowds and on Good Friday they cried, “Crucify him!”  

In Holy Week we recall how the best in the world faced the worst in the world; when one Man took on himself the spiritual virus and consequences of human sin and short-coming.  And died.  Fully human and fully divine Jesus was uninfected, but died for us who fall short – to make us whole.  

Long story short, our scientists expect to find an antidote to Covid-19.  Not before many more have sadly died.  And in Holy Week Jesus took our sins and sicknesses on himself at the cross, the antidote to human sin.  He won for us a reprieve and an indestructible new life.  He died and he rose from the dead for us, Saviour and Pioneer.

What a difference a day makes at present; let alone a week.  We are sobered and stilled by each bulletin and briefing.  In that stillness let’s recall anew that older and eternally far-reaching week when God in Christ Jesus brought wholeness and life for all.  Let’s hear anew his invitation into the healing and belonging of his unshakeable love.  Let’s say our Yes to him.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,

‘therefore, I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

To the soul that seeks him. Lamentations 3:24-25

A Prayer to use:

Lord Jesus Christ, at a time of danger and uncertainty,

thank you for your life, death and resurrection 

made plain for us all.  

Let your love and power 

touch us and save us

in good times and bad, 

in sickness and health, 

in time and for eternity.  

Amen.