Road to Emmaus

Towards the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan the king of the animals has been killed. As a Christ-figure, he gave his life in exchange for the boy Edmund. And now Edmund’s sisters gently tend the great lion’s body. They turn away to weep, and when they look back, he has gone. For a moment the grief becomes unbearable until they hear a familiar voice behind them. Aslan continues to speak p148.

C.S. Lewis captures well the joy of the Resurrection – that brightest of  mornings as a new life, a new world begins. There is life, humour and fun as the Risen Jesus pops up all over the place astounding his disciples, leaving a trail of joy and wonder behind him.

As Jonathan put it in his Easter poem ‘Erupting anguish obscuring, Gardener’s playful delight, Agony’s deep yearning, aching, Recognition ignites. Exploding joyful elation, Spirit’s music exclaims, Touching, soaring – soul suspended, Jesus beckons my name!’

That playful delight is in this passage too, the Road to Emmaus. I’d never thought of it until we read it with the children a little while ago. Susannah found it absolutely hilarious. Literally laugh out loud funny. Here are the two disciples, plodding glumly towards Emmaus – but we know don’t we that Jesus has risen. And here he comes, sneaking up on them – but they don’t recognise him!

And when he asks what they’re sad about, they start telling him all about himself – that was the funniest bit. He explains the Bible, how it foretold what would happen, but they still don’t see. It’s only at last, when he breaks the bread, that they perceive him.

Lay aside all the arguments about why the disciples didn’t recognise Jesus. Whether it was being dazzled by walking into the setting sun, eyes bleared by tears, only seeing what they expected, or as Luke seems to say in v.16 a spiritual blindness. Put aside all that – as far as my daughter is concerned, Jesus was playing ‘Boo’!

And yes, the Resurrection accounts are full of joy, playfulness and exhilaration. Grief is over. Sin is forgiven. Death is defeated and the horror of Calvary past. A new creation is begun, let us rejoice in its birth! Jesus is alive and will die no more, let us be joyful in his presence!

Surely that is the key message of the Road to Emmaus – that Jesus is with us. He is alive, alive today and we can know him. For that is the heart of Christianity. It is the presence of the living Christ which transformed those two disciples from tearful wanderers to running evangelists, and which transforms us today. All our witness, all our service, all the religious paraphernalia of Christianity is geared up to this: knowing, loving and serving the risen Christ.

I’m doing a leadership course at the moment which the Diocese are organising. It involves a day a month of input and group work. You might think that a course on leadership in the church would focus on techniques – how to be a better preacher; strategies – how to grow a church; and vision – how to discern God’s plan for your parish. There is certainly a lot of that.

Yet at least half of the course is about something much more important: how you live as a disciple of Christ. The inner life, knowing God. For no-one can presume to lead unless they first know how to follow. Last week’s session was called ‘Sustaining your first love’ – and it was all about how to keep your own relationship with God alive and flourishing. After all one of the biggest risks for anyone who tries to do good things for Christ’s church is that the busyness crowds out the love for Christ which brought us there in the first place. The danger of doing a lot for Jesus is that we forget to be with Jesus.

So how do we nourish that love? The Road to Emmaus gives us several pointers. Firstly, let’s support one another. It’s as the disciples were talking with each other that Jesus first came alongside them.

God gives us fellow Christians so we can support one another. Let’s make the most of that opportunity. Often when members of a church meet up there’s so much to talk about: fetes to plan, rotas to organise, gutters to clear, social chit-chat. How often do we actually talk about the faith that’s brought us together? Share the signs of God’s love in our lives? The things we’ve learnt recently? Our needs and support?

In v.18 the disciples begin talking with Jesus, and the equivalent for us is prayer. I find it interesting how honest these two are – they share their hopes and disappointments, their puzzles and doubts. Jesus doesn’t probe, but it’s as they are honest with him that he is able to carry their questions and answer them.

In my own prayers recently I’ve found it very liberating to say to God exactly what’s on my mind. Not to cover up the questions, or thoughts and temptations which seem unacceptable, but to let them all out. To tell God precisely how I feel, even if some of those feelings aren’t healthy or good. You know, you can’t surprise God. He knows it all already. So there’s no point having secrets from him. He’s totally unshockable. I’ve found that when I pray openly to God about the stuff that shouldn’t be there – anger, jealousy, whatever; God doesn’t close himself off and withdraw in horror. Instead he moves towards me and shows me how to deal with it. Keep trying to be more honest in prayer.

One of the ways God helps us is by reminding us of the promises in the Bible. Jesus opened up the Scriptures to the disciples on the Emmaus road. Like those disciples, sometimes we can get stuck with the Bible. Stuck reading the same bits, in the same way, hearing the same morals. So if you’ve got stuck, ring the changes. Try reading a different part of the Bible, use a different translation, get help from some reading notes. Read it in a new style – a whole passage out loud, or imagining it as a play, or taking just one phrase and turning it over and over in your mind.

For instance, a verse that came to mind when I was reading this passage was ‘Practice hospitality’. Paul says it in Romans 12:13, and the disciples did it when they invited Jesus to stay with them. The thing that interests me is that Paul writes Practice hospitality. And we all know that practice makes perfect! In other words, like squash or running, hospitality gets better the more you do it. If you don’t think you’re good at hospitality, try getting some practice in!

Finally, in v. 30, it’s in Communion that they recognise Jesus. And for us today, he offers himself to us in the sacrament so that we can be nourished by his presence. Communion is a very direct way that we can experience the risen Christ. In these churches we offer several communion services on Sundays, in different places at various times, so there are plenty of opportunities to receive. To keep on offering Communion, we need priests – priests who come in from elsewhere like Elveen, our new deacon who will be ordained in July, and priests who are raised up locally like Susan. Please pray that more people will respond to God’s call to be ordained and help us all experience Jesus.

There are many ways that we can know Christ today. For the reading we had this morning is not just a story about something that happened almost two-thousand years ago. It’s not just another piece of evidence in the Resurrection casefile, or an interesting discovery two particular people made. Far better: it’s the proclamation that Christ is risen indeed, that the joy of the new creation is begun, that we can know him today. That the presence of the Risen Christ is with us, ready to be known if we reach out for him

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

 

Easter mystery

There’s not much room for doubt in Matthew’s Easter story. For Matthew it’s very clear: Jesus was raised from the dead, so go and spread the word.

In the New Testament we have four different accounts of Jesus’ life. And when it comes to the resurrection, the four gospel writers describe the events in different ways. Imagine there’s a car accident, the police take statements from the witnesses, the things they say will depend a bit on whether they were in one of the vehicles, or standing by the roadside – they’ll describe the same events but from a different perspective.

So too the gospel writers tell the Easter story in ways which reflect their own concerns and understanding about what this amazing event means.

Mark’s gospel is mysterious and the ending unresolved. The women go to the tomb, and find the stone has been rolled back. It ends on a cliffhanger – is Jesus really alive like the angel said? Mark draws us in, encouraging us to find out more.

There’s mystery in Luke too but it soon becomes clear. Luke knows that dead men don’t usually rise, so he gives us lots of proof. He describes Jesus meeting the disciples, eating fish to show he’s not a ghost. Luke is very practical: how we can know Jesus today? He tells us how Christians in every place and time can know Jesus walking alongside them in life and can recognise him in the bread and the wine. How Jesus gives us energy to share the good news with the world.

Whereas the others are selective, condensing the story, John’s gospel gives the whole sequence of events. John is the consummate story teller. He describes the horror of finding your friend’s grave empty, the confusion and grief of Mary, the puzzlement of the disciples giving way to understanding. The human drama and emotion appeal to us. For many, John’s gospel is the Easter story as they know it. in some churches John is the only gospel read on Easter Day

The reading we had today, from Matthew is all about the power and the victory of God. It’s stirring stuff, and you might like to have it front of you as we look at it together.

The day begins with dawn’s first light bringing hope to the sky. Suddenly the earth shakes. The power of God splits the rocks in two. If you go to Jerusalem, in the Adam and Eve Chapel of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, they will show you the faultline in the rocks, said to go back to that day.

A mighty angel of the Lord descends like lightning from heaven. Singlehandedly he rolls back the stone… and sits on it. That action says it all – the angel sat on the stone. Job done, that stone is not going back. Death is defeated once and for all. The tomb lies open – for everyone. Jesus’ resurrection is the promise of ours also, if we place our trust in him. We shall live forever. Then we too, forgiven through Christ, will be as holy and as pure as the angel’s white garments.

Overwhelmed the guards lie flat out. So much for the imperial might of Rome! God is victorious, Christ reigns. Sin and evil defeated.

<heartily> ‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel says to the women. <to the point> ‘Look, that’s where he was. He’s not here. He’s risen. You’ve got a job to do: go and tell his disciples.’ Afraid, but full of joy, the women turn to leave, and there is Jesus! They worship him, convinced he is alive. Only when the disciples meet Jesus in Galilee does Matthew mention that some of them doubted.

How can Matthew be so clear when the other gospel writers take a while to get to a point of conviction, if at all? Partly it’s because they answer different questions. John wants to describe what the first Easter was like; Luke how we can know Jesus today. Partly it’s down to personality: Mark appeals to those who are inquisitive and like open-endedness.

Can they all be true? Yes. The others tell the story from a human perspective. We accompany Peter and Mary on the journey to the tomb, we share their shock and puzzlement. As we work out with them what’s going on, we slowly become convinced that Jesus is alive.

Matthew writes with an all-seeing divine perspective. Jesus has risen. Of course he has – this has been planned from eternity. God acted, and it was done. Nothing, not even raising the dead, is a problem for God who spoke the worlds into being. God’s victory is assured, the only thing that’s a bit puzzling is why the people take so long to get it.

As we celebrate Easter today, we need to hold together both approaches. We need the human quest for understanding, the faith that wrestles with doubts and looks for evidence. If we are told ‘It says so here, you must just believe’, it feels pastorally insensitive, not taking account of our need to think things through. If that’s you, you can take comfort that Jesus understands this: he was gentle with doubting Thomas and gave him the assurance he needed.

Yet we also need that divine perspective Matthew gives us. We should remember that the power of the resurrection is not limited by our ability to understand it; that truth is not constrained by our consent. If something is true, it is true whether or not you or I believe it. Matthew’s gospel is an important corrective to the human tendency to feel that our doubts and questions in some way affect what actually happened that day. It challenges us not to wallow in doubt. Matthew says this is life-changing truth.

The other gospels invite us to make up our minds. They include us in the story. They ask us to consider the evidence. But Matthew proclaims the resurrection. He invites us to live in the light of the new life of Christ. To rejoice that life begins afresh with him. To know that we are forgiven. To have faith that this life is not the end. To be changed by the power of the Risen Christ. Happy Easter!

Doubting Thomas?

‘I hate driving in the countryside at night’ said a friend who lived in the city. ‘The roads are so small and you never know what might be coming.’ Actually, of course, it’s far safer driving in the countryside at night because you can see a car’s headlights a mile away!

Maybe it was the potholes she had in mind. I met someone the other day near Norton who had not just lost a tyre, but the wheel nut had broken as well. It’s understandable that if you didn’t know the roads, and couldn’t see far ahead of you in the darkness, you’d end up driving slowly and cautiously, perhaps not even going out.

Doubt can be rather like that. Doubt can be like potholes in the road of faith. You never quite know when doubt might suddenly appear. You’re worried about pressing on because you don’t know how deep it will be. You’re not sure what it might do to you if you run into it. So one can become cautious, wary, maybe not venturing out.

The remedy of course is to look at the potholes in the clear light of day, and repair them. The right thing to do with doubt is to bring it to God, talk to him about it, pray and think it through, and seek advice from an experienced fellow Christian. Let’s be clear: honest doubt is not a sin. It can be faith seeking understanding, or looking for a deeper assurance.

Sometimes doubt can be sent by God – for instance if we’ve been brought up believing pat answers to the big questions of life, things that roll off the tongue but are actually sub-Christian; If we’ve been brought up with that, we’ll have an underlying sense that those simplistic solutions don’t add up. Owning that doubt, working with it can bring us to a deeper, more Christian, understanding.

Where doubt goes wrong is if we push it away, or shove it down into the subconscious. If we daren’t admit it to God or are too shy to try out a course, that’s when doubt becomes like a decaying tooth, a dull throbbing ache spreading poison. Far better to tackle it.

That’s what St Thomas did in our reading. He doubted. He was honest about it. God met him in his doubts. And as a result, Thomas was granted deep insight. I’ll be looking at the passage closely so do please follow it on page 112.

In v.19, On that first Easter day, the disciples were hiding behind locked doors in the upper room. The Resurrection has not yet transformed them. Jesus comes and stands among them, saying ‘Peace be with you.’ They can have peace because he is alive, he is with them always. The future holds no fear because Jesus has conquered death. Humanity can have peace with God because Jesus has died for our sins. Peace is Jesus’ gift at Easter, and as a result the disciples rejoice.

That peace is not for them alone. In v. 21 Jesus says ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you.’ The church is sent by Christ with his gospel so that the whole world may know peace and forgiveness. He breathes the gift of the Holy Spirit, giving us the power and courage to fulfil that task. The wonderful experience of Easter is not meant for us alone, but sends us out in mission.

But Thomas wasn’t there. The disciples tell him, it’s the first time they’ve shared the good news – and the recipient doesn’t believe! What a disappointment! Thomas is open and honest: ‘I need to see for myself.’

I think it’s a massive credit to all of them that they managed to keep together for an entire week before Jesus came again. It can’t have been easy, the disciples full of joy, reliving the event, speculating about what it all means. Thomas not wanting to be a party pooper but thinking they’ve all gone mad. Perhaps after a few days the disciples are beginning to question what happened– did Thomas’ doubts spread?

Somehow they held it together. It is so important that we are able to live as a community, holding together those with certainty and those with doubt.

It can take time for people on the edge of faith to come to a point of decision, and Christians need to be sensitive about when it is right to encourage commitment, and when it is right to give space. We must never give the impression that our continuing friendship is conditional on someone expressing faith.

Often, as in v.27 it’s the encounter with Jesus that enables people to grow. How many of you here have done the Alpha course? Talking to those who’ve done it, we often hear the same story: ‘the course was great, I got a lot out of it.’ What helped the most? ‘Well, it wasn’t the points in the talk, or the group discussions, or the great atmosphere and good food, although all that was important. The best bit was the Holy Spirit day. That’s when it all seemed real.’ It’s the encounter with Jesus which changes lives.

Jesus who meets us individually, to whom each one of us matters. Jesus who graciously responds to our particular issues: ‘put your finger here, see my hands. Do not doubt but believe.’ Jesus whose resurrected body bears the marks of his suffering, transformed and glorified.

And so Thomas, at this unique point, says in v.28 ‘My Lord and my God.’ A confession of Jesus’ divinity unparalleled in all the gospels; a deep insight which came about because he had the courage to own his doubts, express them and resolve them. Jesus replies, with us in mind: ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’. As v. 30-31 make clear, all these things are written so that we might come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing we might have life in his name.’

So far in this sermon I’ve assumed that doubt is having honest questions about our faith. Can we really believe in the Resurrection, is it all true, how can a good God allow suffering, important questions like that. And I’ve argued that if we have doubts we should own them, bring them to God and seek out answers. I believe if we do that, God will help us and doubt will lead to greater understanding.

But I do also meet people who have other kinds of doubt, different reasons for doubt. And I think we need to be honest with ourselves – if I have doubts, why? There’s a spiritual discernment about what kind of doubt one might have and the role it plays in someone’s life.

For instance, I had a friend at university who had been to lots of events exploring Christianity. She said it all made sense. But that’s as far as she got – faith never became personal. And I’ve met other people who seem to have their questions answered, and then nothing really has happened. So I think you’ve got to live the Christian faith for it to make a difference. If it seems to make sense, then try it out. what I’d say to someone in that situation is: Don’t just look at the manual, and ask questions about it, test drive the car. It’s as you start praying, following Christ’s teaching, that the truth has an impact and is felt to be real. Addressing doubts at an intellectual level is important but it is rarely everything a person needs.

Other people correctly grasp that Christianity is life changing. If you believe this and put it into effect, all sorts of things could happen. Habits we’d have to give up, priorities we’d need to change. And if we’re honest that can be a scary prospect. Like St Augustine, we might say: ‘Lord make me chaste, just not yet.’ And doubts can be a very useful cover for that. Hiding behind doubt – ‘ah yes, but what about…’ can be a way of avoiding commitment. We need real honesty with ourselves to spot if that is happening. Bring it to God, he will not condemn but help you to see how his way is best, and how he is gentle with us.

Respectability too can be a temptation. In our society, it is acceptable to be a cultural Christian; to celebrate the festivals, support the church, and practice Christian morality. But regular commitment, conviction in Christian belief – in certain circles that seems overkeen, intellectually dubious. Politicians at election? For people who are influenced by those around them, staying in doubt can be kind of respectable. Again, if that is a temptation to which we are prone, we should bring it to God, who can take away fear and will help us to be clear yet loving in our conversation.

Whatever doubts we have, whatever the reasons behind them, it is good to bring them to God. So I have here a doubt box. I’ll put this on the Vicar’s stall during the offertory. If you want to, you can write any doubts or questions you have on these pieces of paper. That can be a way of entrusting the doubts to God. Saying, yes God, I struggle with this, will you please help me resolve it.

It’s up to you what you do with the paper. If you put it in the box, the only person who will see it will be me. I would use any anonymous items in there to inform my preaching, try and address them in sermons. Anonymously. If you put your name on the piece of paper, then of course that is still confidential but it does mean I can arrange to meet up and talk through any questions with you.

So an opportunity to think about our response to faith seeking understanding, and a chance to take a step of action. Let’s think about that for a few moments before we say the creed.

Palm Sunday

They say beware of the Vicar who has just returned from the Holy Land. If you are not careful he will corner you and show you his holiday snaps. I’m not planning on doing that. But could I really speak at the beginning of Holy Week without drawing on the remarkable things I’ve seen in Jerusalem, the city where it all happened?

Of course not, it’s an incredible place and a great help to faith. I’d recommend a pilgrimage to anyone. One thing that really struck me is how small the old city of Jerusalem is. The historic sites are really close together. And a lot of the places that we read about in the gospels are still there, some preserved as archaeological remains, while others have ornate churches built on top. The only part of the Temple that remains is the Wailing Wall, and I have to say that I was rather anxious about visiting it

It’s a special place for the Jews, and I’m always a little nervous about going to someone else’s holy place. How should we behave? What to wear? We don’t want to offend. Will they mind us being there, especially on the Sabbath? We had a briefing which included things like: don’t take photos after sunset because when the Sabbath starts no-one is allowed to operate any kind of machine. The religious police will be enforcing the ban.

I also thought it would be a rather grim experience: it is after all called the Wailing Wall…I was expecting a serious and mournful atmosphere. Nothing could have been further from the truth. It was a chaotic, joyful celebration. The place was packed with families meeting up, teenagers giggling at each other. Even the very austere looking Orthodox Jews were joining in the singing, praying, even dancing. That sunny evening it was profoundly beautiful and spiritual. I did wonder what it could be like if these wonderful people could believe that Jesus is their Messiah’.

Christians can learn a lot from the Jewish roots of our faith about the value of celebration. That joy and Christian faith can, should go hand in hand. There is a bit of a tendency in our culture to think that proper religion is a serious and sombre business. British grown up religion shouldn’t be too demonstrative, but we might endure a little enforced jollity from time to time in an effort to appeal to the young.

But actually taking our faith seriously involves celebration. Not dumbing down but the whole family of God rejoicing in him. We worship a great God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer in whom we can and must delight! In the Old Testament God commanded his people to observe community festivals, Sabbaths, holy days. Celebration is our duty and our joy.

One of the privileges of Sabbatical has been worshipping in different churches of varying tradition and style. A few I admit were pretty deadly, several have been inspirational. What struck me, independent of churchmanship was that the common theme of the good ones has been the contagious power of joy. Whether it’s a handful of Ethiopian Christians meeting in a tiny incense filled chapel, or a large Evangelical church with a worship band, it’s wonderful to join people taking delight in God.

Joy is hospitable. It welcomes people, makes them feel at home and conveys God’s love. Joy in worship draws people into praise, lifts up their hearts with a vision of God and sends them out bearing hope into the world. Perhaps unexpectedly, joy also holds and embraces those among us who live with suffering. It is easier to weep somewhere warm, loving and accepting than somewhere cold and distant.

I say that because joy in the Lord is sometimes misunderstood. Joy is deep. It’s not a frothy manipulated surface emotion but a grace that comes from being rooted in God. Joy is not a fragile bubble within which we hide from the hardships of the world. No, joy knows those hardships and knows the God who is working in and overcoming them. Joy is not denial, it gives the strength to endure.

Joy is strengthened by being expressed, and shared. Particularly in worship. So I’d encourage you: let your delight in God out. When we worship together, sing up – don’t be worried if you’re out of tune, I will be too and if we all sing up no-one will notice! Join in. Give of your best. But not anxiously. Corporate worship shouldn’t be a performance – after all, for whom are we doing it? Let go a little bit – I don’t find that easy, so we can learn together!

There’s so much joy in today’s reading. The crowd welcome Jesus. They don’t hold back: waving palms, throwing cloaks on the road, singing songs. In Matthew’s account, the Pharisees object: ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ Jesus replies: ‘Have you never read ‘Out of the mouths of infants God has prepared praise?’ In Luke: ‘If these keep quiet the stones would cry out!’ They must praise because God’s king has come.

The long awaited Messiah is here, and the crowd know it. They recognise what Jesus is doing. They know Zechariah 9:9 where it says ‘Shout aloud O daughter Jerusalem. Your king comes to you. Triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey.’ Jesus deliberately chooses to enact this prophecy. He knows what he is doing, he is making a point.

We might think that Mark makes rather a meal of describing the arrangements in verses 1-7. Jesus says go there, do this, say that. And they do go there, do what he told them, and said the words. It’s making the point that Jesus does this purposefully. What he did was intentional symbolism and everybody got the message: Jesus is God’s chosen King.

 

Of course, they saw people riding on donkeys every day. ‘Man rides donkey’ was hardly headline news. But when someone considered to be a possible Messiah approaches Jerusalem at the feast which celebrates God’s deliverance of his people and all his disciples call out, in verses 9 and 10: ‘Hosanna. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David’ – when all this is done while riding on a donkey, the message is clear.

Perhaps I’ve laboured this point but I’ve done so because it matters today. The Christian faith is undermined by people who want to say that we have misinterpreted Jesus. They say that St Paul or the church gave Jesus a significance that he never claimed for himself. It’s an attempt to rewrite our history and downplay who Jesus is. So we need to be clear that Jesus actually did claim to be the Messiah. He did so deliberately, everybody at the time got the point, and the crowd went wild.

Jesus thinks he is the Messiah, the crowd think Jesus is the Messiah and God thinks Jesus is the Messiah and proved it by raising him from the dead.

Now we cannot finish Palm Sunday without also recognising that the people’s vision for the Messiah was very different from God’s plan, the one Jesus was following. The point is often made, and I for one have preached about the changeability of the crowd. But having thought at bit more, I don’t think we should criticise the crowd too much.

I don’t think we can accuse the crowd of wanting an easy way. Of desiring the glory without the pain. Of seeking triumph without hard work. We can’t say the crowd are looking for an easy religion without understanding the need for sacrifice. That may be projecting our own culture’s weaknesses into the story, but it’s not really fair to them.

For they probably thought that they’d done the hard work and pain already. They’ve been living for decades under Roman occupation, the culmination of centuries of oppression. Many of the crowd would have followed the Jewish law intently, making real sacrifices to do so, and hoping that the Kingdom of God will come with their observance. So these aren’t people looking for an easy path. They’ve already done the graft. At last, they think, God is responding and his Kingdom has come.

 

It had, but in a different way. That’s where the contrast shows up. Between human expectation and God’s wisdom. They didn’t grasp that the problem was far deeper than they thought. They hadn’t seen that sin needed a much costlier sacrifice than their obedience. They looked for a Messiah but couldn’t imagine that he redeemed them from their pain by sharing in their suffering. They couldn’t believe in a rejected Messiah, and so rejected him. God’s way was too much of a mystery.

But suffer he must, if we are to be redeemed. And he freely chose to give himself up for us. In this week we follow in the footsteps of Christ to the cross and beyond. Sharing together in these services helps us to appreciate what Christ has done, draws us closer to him in his sufferings. If we just travel directly from one celebration to another, from Palm Sunday to Easter, we will not truly grasp the joy of the resurrection. My colleagues have prepared a thoughtful and spiritual path through this Holy Week. I’d urge you to join in as much as you can so that together we may encounter afresh this eternal story, our humble king crucified and risen.