Spirit Alive: One Week Can Make a Lasting Difference
April 11, 2017
With Heart, Soul, and Mind:
What Would Holy Week Look Like in a Tweeting, Hashtag World?"Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, 'Truly this man was God's Son!'"
Matthew 27: 54
Since we celebrate Holy Week and Easter every year and know the end of the story, it is easy to lose track of just how much deep meaning and mystery fills this single week . What appears to be over is just beginning. And in the course of events, we are reminded that hope and joy can and often do bloom in the midst of suffering, sacrifice, and pain. During the days we call Holy Week, Easter steps out of the shadows of Good Friday's darkness and despair and comes fully alive, promising a new way forward that involves a deeper connection with God, grounded in sacrificial love.
This year, for the 8th time, I will have the privilege of participating in the Pan Methodist "Seven Last
Can you see Pilate tweeting: "Not my fault. Go with the crowd. Don't mess with power. This chaos is done, over. Long live Caesar Augustus. @Romerules."
Perhaps Caesar would tweet in response: "Lesson learned: Don't fight the system. Wealth and power beat love and compassion every time. @I'myour#one."
And what of the Centurian: "Nothing like a crucifixion to restore order. Except this man was God's Son! @troubledsoldier"
I don't happen to use Twitter, but as we look at the highs and lows that make Holy Week such a dramatic unfolding of events, it is clear that Jesus' words could easily make their way into our tweeting world as powerful, short bursts of spiritual insight and energy, leaving us with the profound message about the nature of God's love.
These messages could easily start with.... "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" or "Into Thy hands I commit my spirit." But the week would not be over until we also heard: "Why do you look for the living among the dead?"; "He is not here, but has risen"; "Do not be afraid"; "Do not doubt, but believe"; and "Feed my sheep."
We are more familiar with the Jesus who fed the hungry, healed the sick, and told amazing parables, but he also spoke in short, clear ways that are very understandable in our tweet-filled world. In fact, there is no question that Holy Week set the world atwitter two thousand years ago...long before tweets ever existed.
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.