I haven’t thought about this blog for months. I only really write stuff when I feel like it or … well that’s it I couldn’t think of another reason. I don’t like to write because I have to, it’s not a job but a hobby I pick up and put down whenever I want then it becomes a pleasure and not a chore.
What can I say? We are already hurtling towards the end of April in the year 2020 and what a year it’s been so far. I am sitting here thinking shout the world and the situation we all find ourselves in now. It’s supposed to be that weekend of the year where we all emerge from the winter a bit bleary-eyed and bloated from the hibernation of the winter months. Fat chance.
Life is on hold while the Government scrambles desperately to find a vaccination to COVID19. I am trying to not watch too much news. I get despondent when hearing the grim daily death toll being announced seeing the numbers creep higher with each passing day.
It is usually when you have heard someone you know who has lost a relative to the virus does it become real. I said at the beginning of this pandemic that people will only take seriously when it starts to directly affect them or they know someone who has been affected.
It is at this time when I looked to countries who have the ways and means to cope with the pandemic and take privilege, arrogance, selfishness, and superiority to a whole new level. Parts of the US have seen protests down to being ‘told what to do’. I can understand the need and want to work and provide for your family but when it comes to the expense of a nation’s health it is downright reckless and stupid.
Even when you complain that the measures taken are too draconian and you end up losing your own life do some still believe it is some political ploy to remove ‘civil liberties’.
My question would be to these protesters is if they could see the enemy and know it’s dangerous to leave their homes due to being taken out by a sniper or bomb and the government told them to stay indoors would they still complain about diminishing civil liberties?
The UK response to COVID-19 has been extraordinary where people have been organizing social events and looking out for each other in ways we haven’t seen for decades. The tremendous outpouring of heart-felt thanks for NHS has been amazing to hear. We are a nation who should be proud that we can rely on a service where at the end of the treatment we don’t have to worry about how we are able to pay for such life-saving remedies.
Also known as Great Friday, Black Friday and Holy Friday. We have reached the most crucial part of the week.
We look at the accounts in the gospels and they speak of Jesus being arrested. Judas has carried out his final act and has told the Romans and the priests where to find Jesus. He has been paid. Later in the book of Matthew, we learn that Judas returns the money to the priests and then hangs himself.
Judas must have known as Jesus was taken away what would happen to Jesus his overwhelming guilt and betrayal cause him to commit what some Christian’s say is a sinful act.
There is no doubt that in the lead up to Jesus crucifixion that there was terrible suffering. Jesus had prayed to his father that if he could be spared this sacrifice let it be done but this was not too happen and Jesus would die.
Jesus was brought before the priests and he was found guilty of blasphemy by claiming to be the son of god. He was sentenced to be crucified. The Romans were a pretty ruthless bunch of people and believed that by publically flogging someone and nailing them to wood it would deter would-be thieves and murderers from committing any crimes.
Jesus death Christian’s believe is a sacrifice for all bad things people have done. Taking on the sins of the world people can have a relationship with their creator.
Maundy Thursday is now here and it reminds Christians of a time when Jesus gives his ultimate commandment.
Most Theologians and believers point to the fact that the word ‘Maundy’ comes from the middle English and old French mandé – from the Latin mandate which we get the word ‘mandate’. It’s definition is an official order or a commision to do something.
“A new command I give unto you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34 NIV)
When someone faces death they want to know that people who are left behind are safe and happy. Jesus knew his fate and that those disciples would now go out and give the message of the gospel to the rest of the world.
It seems now that more than ever that commandment is relevant to a world that often seems lacking in love and compassion.
Christians are reminded of the Last Supper. The time that Jesus spends with his disciples eating and drinking in his presence. He reminds them that each time that they do eat and drink they remember him. They should give thanks for his life and the sacrifice that he is about to make.
My thoughts turn to the music of Tomás Luis de Victoria his work is seen as one of those most prominent in the counter-reformation. An accomplished organist and Catholic priest his music for my bring an auditory musical side to Easter we are often denied when swamped with adverts for boxed chocolate eggs and synthetic families smiling and laughing over the Easter Sunday meal table.
Have a listen. Take time. Reflect. Even if you aren’t a Christian or have no religion. Just taking time out of your day over the next few days.
So we have to reached Monday in Holy Week. You think nothing happens on these days but you are wrong.
The days between Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday are called Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and (something I didn’t know) Spy Wednesday. What a great name but we will get to that in a minute, first Holy Monday.
Christian’s remember the anointing of Jesus at Bethany. A woman who is believed to be Mary (not the mother of Jesus) but another – who Jesus had previously forgiven – poured some very expensive oil onto Jesus’ feet. There are some suggestions that she was partly in giving thanks for her forgiveness others say it was a way of calming him before he was put to death on the cross.
The one thing that is noticed by others who witnessed this was that the oil was expensive and probably the equivalent to a year’s wages. Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus complained that it could have been sold to help the poor but Jesus knew it was an exemplary act of kindness.
Holy Tuesday is a day when some Christians will remember the prediction of Christ’s death. Some readings in the church are of the passion of Jesus. In other words, the time of Christ’s suffering in the days leading up to his crucifixion.
Spy Wednesday is a time when Christian’s will remember the beginning of the end. The time when all the doubts and fears of Jesus’ followers accumulate in the man that is about to betray Jesus. Some Christian’s will say that this is the time when true evil entered Judas’ heart and he plotted to hand Jesus over to the authorities. A time when they realise that Jesus will soon die.
A week before Easter commemorates the time Jesus entered into Jerusalem to take part in the Passover festival – but there was a different plan to take place.
Today is the beginning of Holy Week a time when Christians will remember the week before Jesus would be put to death and rise again on Easter Sunday. It’s hard to imagine what anyone would feel like to be facing such a fate and know that it would be Jesus’ faith in his father’s plan that things should be done for the whole of humanity.
Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey despite the crowds shouting accolades shows his humility as a human being. They were cheering him as he enters the city with applause and shouts of ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord‘ (Mark 11:9).
The people truly believe that he was a messiah someone who would come to liberate the people from their slavery and the rule of the Romans. They welcomed him with open arms and laid their coats in front of Jesus. This is was a sign of pure devotion and obedience. Jesus predicted that he would be put to death. There was a lot more to come and the people would turn against him.