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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Holy Week

As is often the case, Christian Holy Week and Jewish Passover coincide.  Both of these seasons are times to reflect on the dynamics of oppression and liberation in our lives and the world. The Passover journey is from slavery through wilderness to promised land; while the Christian path goes through crucifixion to resurrection. Both are pilgrimages from hopelessness to hope. Both are also about living within and overcoming imperial powers of fear and violence.

Holy week begins with crowds shouting an emphatic Hebrew phrase, "Hosanna!" which means "Save us, now!" Within what we have traditionally perceived as a celebratory procession is a cry for liberation. In the Gospel of Matthew even the children shout in the temple, "Save us, now!"

There are many voices in many languages in the world today shouting "Save us, now!" Forces of imperial fear and violence are being unleashed by the Pharaohs and Caesars of our day in the names of patriotism, peace, security, and religion.

People of faith and hope are again called to remember the path to home and new life goes through wilderness and crucifixion. For people of comfort and privilege this means letting go of that comfort and privilege in order to be with the enslaved, oppressed, and hopeless of the world. We are called to not only hear the cries of "Save us, now!" but to also shout "Hosanna!" for those who have no voice.

The pilgrimage to promised land and resurrection are never easy. Maybe this is why we need to be reminded year after year.

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