Message from the chaplain - 29 March 2018

Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter Sunday, begins with Christ’s entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (25 March this year). The crowds welcome Jesus into the Holy City, laying down palm branches to prepare his path. Christ chooses to enter riding a humble donkey – the Son of God in humility overturns the notion of a wealthy ruler entering in pomp and ceremony, associating instead with the poor. Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday as it marks the beginning of Jesus’ journey through Jerusalem to his death.

On Maundy Thursday, Christ again overturns the notion of a leader, thereby setting an example for us: the Son of God chooses to serve, washing his disciples’ feet. The disciples are understandably shocked: “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” asks Simon Peter (John 13:6). Having shared his last supper with his disciples, they leave to pray at the Mount of Olives. Jesus’ prayer is filled with anguish: he knows Judas will betray him to the Roman soldiers and that, therefore, death is imminent. It is for this reason that Thursday evening and the morning of Good Friday are times of prayerful waiting with Christ.

On Good Friday, with the disciples, we witness Christ’s trial before Pilate, his torture and death on a cross: the cruelest form of the death penalty in those days. We wait with the disciples, knowing Christ’s body is laid in a tomb and, early on Easter Sunday morning, we will feel the disciples’ wonder and surprise at discovering the empty tomb: Christ is risen, Alleluia! God has overcome death, and our God reigns!

Revd Claudia Coustas