One of the great contradictions of Holy Week is it often comes just when the blooms are first appearing and the birds are singing as they busily build their nests.
Yes, you say this is the reminder that out of death comes life, just like the Holy Week message.
But that’s backwards, isn’t it? Aren’t we seeing new life right when we are supposed to remember death’s lurking around again as the hours tick away until we gather to remember and follow Jesus to the cross. How can I see life, but preach death?
Because death’s always lurking around. Just as the bird builds their nest in our hanging baskets on our porch preparing to lay eggs, so too are the lizards that ate the eggs from their nests last year lurking at the bottom of the railings of our porch waiting to see if they can snatch away new life before it begins.
And just as we try to prepare to celebrate the Good News of the resurrected Christ as ministers preparing for a high, holy day, our news feeds are filled with stories of the death of 30 and 200 injured. Just when we had bought our new Easter dresses and our new Easter shoes, death’s lurking around again.
And as we celebrate with friends over the birth of their children, we also mourn the loss of young moms who battle cancer and leave behind young children because death’s lurking around again reminding us even when it’s not Ash Wednesday that we are dust and to dust we will return.
In these moments we are often paralyzed just as Mary is at the tomb in John’s account trying to understand why death is always lurking around again and why we can’t just have one moment, one day to not think about how little time we have on earth and with those we love. Why can’t I just be blissfully ignorant? Why must death lurk around again?
Because the power of new life is that it happens miraculous and unexpectedly even when death is lurking around again and each time we witness that new life, let us notice and share the miracle of resurrection and the miracle of death together in one week, together in each day, together in our lives.
Thanks be to God, death’s lurking around again.