Rev Janet Buchan: 'Holy Week shows us God in the pain'

St Paul's Church in Goodmayes are flinging their doors open to the community.

St Paul's Church in Goodmayes - Credit: Archant

Palm Sunday on March 28 begins Holy Week, the week immediately preceding the great festival of Easter, which is so central to the Christian faith.

It is a week full of drama: Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his last supper with his disciples on Maundy Thursday, followed by his arrest and culminating in his execution and burial on Good Friday.

There is nothing dull about Holy Week! But it is challenging. And the temptation for some is to move almost seamlessly from Palm Sunday – the rapturous welcome given to Jesus as he entered Jerusalem – to Easter Day – the celebration of his rising from the dead.

All glory. All triumph. But if we do that, we miss so much.

I sometimes describe my understanding of the Christian faith as "God in the mess" - the messy business of Jesus becoming a human being and living an ordinary human life; "God in the pain" – the pain of Holy Week, of betrayal, desertion, false accusation and torture leading to excruciating death; and "God in the future" – the hope of new life assured to us by the resurrection.

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Holy Week shows us God in the pain - God experiencing the worst that human life can throw at us. And so, God alongside us in our darkest moments.

As we emerge from the chaos and challenge of this last year, let us take comfort that God stands with us in all the pain that we have endured, and what may be to come. He knows. And there is resurrection ahead.

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