On Evil & Holy Week
“From beginning to end, the Holy Scriptures testify that the predicament of fallen humanity is so serious, so grave, so irremediable from within, that nothing short of divine intervention can rectify it.” - Fleming Rutledge, The Crucifixion
This week saw the conclusion of the terrorism that has plagued Austin this month. I know that many of you were praying for justice to be done and peace to come to our city. Let us also pray for those injured and those grieving, especially the families of Draylen Mason and Anthony Stephan House.
The reality of the evil that has been on display over the past few weeks exposes our powerlessness. We struggle to comprehend, let alone adequately respond to what one image-bearer could do to others who bear the image of God, especially in such a reckless way. We long for something to be done, for what is so irrevocably broken to be set right.
As we prepare to enter into Holy Week, we are closing in on the reality of God’s righteous response to radical evil. Journeying through Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, we will journey to the cross, God’s ultimate response to evil. The justice we long for and the peace we seek are on display at the cross. In Jesus’ death we see unveiled the seriousness with which God takes the evil of our world and the glory of His mercy, bringing peace. At the cross, we see God meet and bear the reality of evil in the world and defeat it through self-giving love.
Our realtime journey with Jesus to the cross begins this Sunday with Palm Sunday. We will congregate outside the Phillips Event Center to begin our service, processing inside for a reading of the Passion Narrative. On Thursday evening we will meet at the PEC again, this time with Christ Church, for a dramatic Tenebrae service. In this service, through Scripture readings and the use of light and shadow, we will commemorate Jesus’ descent into the depths of darkness. On Good Friday, we will meet at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs, hearing from members of our community of how their experience of the brokenness of the world intersects with the cross. All of this will lead us up to the Feast of the Resurrection on Sunday, a climactic celebration of God’s victory over evil, anticipating and tasting the fullness of that victory even now.
Approaching the cross with you,