This coming weekend we are given the opportunity to mark the story of Easter and its meanings for us. A human story of a ‘sent’ person, Jesus, whose message of goodness and peace ran into power and opposition. He experiences betrayal, judgement, injustice and loneliness. In Jesus’ story we find themes of sacrifice, atonement, and ultimate giving.
Reading the weekend papers recently I was taken aback by this quote from “Beyond Order”, the new book of controversial Canadian Professor of Clinical Psychology, Jordan Peterson. After two years of his own personal near-terminal sickness and turmoil, Peterson notes:
“When you are visited by chaos and swallowed up; when nature curses you or someone you love with illness; or when tyranny rends asunder something of value that you have built, it is salutary to know the rest of the story. All that misfortune is only the bitter half of the tale of existence, without taking note of the heroic element of redemption or the nobility of the human spirit … because life is so difficult that losing sight of the heroic part of existence could cost us everything”.
Maybe the invitation of Easter and its significant story told of this one person is to focus on the heroism that exists within us all, the triumph over personal misfortune and challenge, the hope of life on ‘the other side’. It’s a message for you and me and for our world. As the wonderful Helen Keller, herself mute and blind wrote, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”.
Thanks be to God.
You can view today's Tenebrae (meaning ‘Shadows’), a forty-minute service telling of the Easter Story from the Bible in readings and song at https://youtu.be/tURPZDid6gU. The service will be available for viewing for the coming week.
Rev Phil Hoffmann