Wicker Park Lutheran Church
Rev. Jason Glombicki
March 25, 2018
Today is a baffling day. First, we process with palms and shout hosanna, meaning “save us.” Then, we hear about senseless torture, and we witness an execution. While seemingly unrelated, this is all intertwined. After all, Jesus’ procession was not a festive parade; rather, it was a protest – a religious and political protest. Jesus rode a donkey to symbolize peace. Jesus built a transformative movement of non-violence. And the people holding branches, they cried for change. But, Jesus’s changes were too much for the powerful, and so their only option was to crucify him.
Now, we will hear Mark’s version of Jesus’s tragic demise. This story is different than John’s gospel, which we’ll hear on Friday. Today, we will see Jesus troubled and sorrowful, Jesus will ask God to remove his pain and suffering, and Jesus will be abandoned. We’ll witness a hasty trial in the dark of night where government officials and religious authorities will knowingly lie. Jesus will be mocked, Jesus will shriek before he dies, and finally, his lifeless body will be buried.
And, while this is an ancient story, it is also a human story. It is a story where power tried to dominate compassion. A story where people protested for their safety. A story of a human sacrificed for capital gain. A story about the spread of fake news. A story where religion used extreme measures to control. A story of an empire who silenced the oppressed. A story filled with misrepresentations and shifting responsibility. And a story about a wrongful conviction to preserve privileged self-interests.
You see, this story is an everyday story. It is the story of our world. It is a story that we sanction with acts of omission and commission. It is a story that we must wrestle with each day.
So, today, we sit in our confusing story. We ponder what a story like this might teach about our God. We learn from the tale that it tells. But, we don’t stop there. Instead, we commit to truth. We promise to persevere. We pledge to plod. So, join me, walk with me, and stand by me as we enter this Holy Week to emerge with God’s full story.