Palm Sunday sometimes feels like a moment to take a pause and to stand and look ahead at the next seven days. And what a week it is… for those who feel caught up in it it can feel like the most dramatic week in the world…where the world is redeemed. It is a week of roller coaster emotions ending in apparent tragedy only for the most extraordinary happening to occur.
In his sermon yesterday the Rector of Bath Abbey Edward Mason spoke about the ending of Mark’s gospel where the story ends with the empty tomb: ‘for terror and amazement had seized them: and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid’ Mark 16, v. 8. And yes to be be afraid when the world is turned upside down, to be very afraid and filled with amazement is the only possible human response to the events that took place.
When asked to stock Easter Eggs with Christian symbolism on them one sales manager is reputed to have responded ‘what’s Easter to do with the church!’ And how casual we are in accepting what surely is out of our understanding.
Yesterday I had a clear sense that the church and all the representations and symbols that are made and used as a way of trying to frame and start to understand the inexpressible are such pale shadows and surface manifestations of the most powerful and mysterious forces – yes to be afraid and amazed seems about right.