Rev. Valarie Englert, Senior Pastor

Our Lenten pilgrimage has taken us to Jerusalem. We’ve followed Jesus as he entered the city on a donkey. We’ve heard the cries of “Hosanna!” We’ve felt the expectations of the crowds in our bones; felt the swell of our own expectations in our hearts.
 
“Will God finally get rid of the Romans? Will Jesus finally ascend the kingly throne of David? Will this be the time when God makes everything right?”
 
Time seems to have slowed. Jesus gathered with his disciples to celebrate the Passover and share the Seder feast. Surely, the story of liberation from oppression and slavery will cease to be just a story – it will be reality!
 
Today, though, all those expectations are dashed in cruel fashion. The world crumbles as Jesus dies. The unimaginable takes place before our very eyes, and the scene is horrible beyond imagining.

“Where is God?” the disciples must have wondered … shouted … sobbed. It’s not supposed to end like this!
 
At times of horrible loss and crisis, hope seems to disappear.
 
Yet it is in such desperate times when hope throws us a lifeline. When all seems lost, hope remains.
 
“Hope is what is left when your worst fears have been realized and you are no longer optimistic about the future. Hope is what comes with a broken heart willing to be mended.” (Quoted in Feasting on the Word, Year B, Advent).
 
We modern-day pilgrims are living through what some have called the “Great Unraveling.” Our days are filled with pandemic, war, hostile division.
 
But hope remains. It’s a slender, shining thread we hold onto this Good Friday. God will show up. Our hope is not in vain.

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