Scripture Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9
We are embarking on a Holy Week that’s very different from the others that we remember. A lot of us can identify with the bruised reed and dimly burning wick mentioned in verse 3! We’re feeling battered by loneliness, anxiety, and grief. Like many of you, I deeply missed the “normal” celebration of Palm Sunday yesterday, and I know that sense of loss is only going to grow by the time we hit Easter. Maybe the flame of your faith seems to be sputtering, deprived of the oxygen of the Sunday morning gatherings and the fellowship of the full Body of Christ. The promise, then, of this passage resonates loudly. Christ came into this world as a healer and a bringer of peace: he came to strengthen the bruised reed, and fuel the flickering flame.
Even as we mourn our losses and pray for this time of disease and death to be ended, let’s commit to experiencing this Holy Week as it has been given to us, rather than comparing it to the ones in our past. Stripped of all its usual accompaniments, stripped of traditions and distractions, perhaps we will experience anew the force of the Gospel, coming, as it always has, to “open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” We have rarely sat together in such widespread darkness. This Holy Week, may the astonishing glory of the Lord shine that much brighter!