Palm Sunday this year follows immediately after April Fools’ day on the 1st April, the origins of which are unclear but ancient. Some even date it back to the time of Noah, who sent out the dove from the ark before the floods had receded and had to release it again seven days later when it then returned with an olive leaf showing that the trees had reappeared. By entering Jerusalem on a lowly donkey rather than a kingly stallion, and going to his death rather than avoiding it, Jesus was also thought by some to be foolish and the events of Holy Week show his scared and doubting followers struggling to understand or accept what he is doing.
However, the courage of Mary and John in standing with Jesus as he was crucified was echoed by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who had been secret followers of his but who now openly came to collect and anoint Jesus’ dead body. Even when Mary Magdalene and other women said to the disciples that they had been told at the tomb not to look for the living amongst the dead, it’s clear that this was thought foolish too.
Their confusion was understandable after such astounding events but, in a series of resurrection appearances, Jesus acknowledges the disciples’ fears and doubts rather than condemning them for struggling to accept what he’s been through. He shows them his wounds so that they realise the reality of the crucifixion but Jesus also reassures their fears, telling them, “Peace be with you”. This is not foolishness but hopefulness!
We may have fears and doubts about what’s happening in our lives, communities and nations with so much to worry or concern us about the world today. As Jesus stood amongst the confusion and fear of those first frightened disciples, so his words of peace and hope then can be echoed in our lives today if we listen for them. Or perhaps we can speak words of reassurance to those who we know are fearful or struggling. Wouldn’t it be foolish not to?!
The following services will be held at St Melangell’s, with refreshments at the Centre afterwards. Bacon butties will be available after the 6.30am service on Easter Day – please book yours beforehand to be sure of one. For further details, please ring 01691 860408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thurs 13th, noon: Noon prayers.
Low Sunday, 16th, 3pm: Service of reflection.
Thursday 20th, noon: Holy Eucharist
Third Sunday of Easter, 23rd, 3pm: Service of reflection
Wednesday 26th, 10.30am at the centre: Julian Group
Thursday 27th, noon: Service of reflection
Fourth Sunday of Easter, 30th, 3pm: Holy Eucharist
May Easter bring blessings and renewed hope at this time of such uncertain change.
With my prayers; pob bendith,