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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sermon: We Know but We Don't Know

by Interim Pastor Hollie Holt-Woehl
Maundy Thursday

Spoiler Alert! I am going to tell you what is going to happen the next three days: Jesus is going to suffer, die on the cross, and be raised to life again. That’s it. That’s all you need to know about the next three days…or is it?

We know what will happen, but we don’t know exactly how it will affect us, how God will speak to us, how the Holy Spirit will change us as we listen to and experience Christ’s passion.

We know Jesus will take a towel and be a servant to his disciples, but we don’t know what it will be like for us to perform this service for one another.

We know Jesus will share in a last meal with his disciples, but we don’t know what this meal will mean to us or what this meal will do to us when we eat and drink Christ’s body and blood, and hear the words “for you” and “for the forgiveness of sin.”

We know Jesus will pray in the garden of Gethsemane. He will pray for the cup to be taken from him, he will pray for those of us who follow him who may fall away, but we don’t know how this prayer will change us

We know Jesus will be betrayed by Judas, but we don’t know how hearing of the betrayal will affect us, will it remind us of a time of being betrayed or betraying another?

We know Jesus will be arrested and questioned by the high priest, the religious leader of the day, but we don’t know if this will challenge our sense of religion or religiousness.

We know Jesus will be denied by Simon Peter, but we don’t know if we will find ourselves saying Peter’s words of denial as vehemently as he did, or find ourselves weeping as Peter did for our actions.

We know Jesus will be questioned by Pilate and he will find no case against Jesus, but we don’t know how the silence and innocence of Jesus will pierce our own souls as we listen to the contrast of the crowd shouting and accusing Jesus.

We know Jesus will be whipped until his back is like raw hamburger and he will be mocked, but we don’t know how the physicality of the torture will affect us.

We know that those who shouted “Hosanna” will now shout “Crucify him,” but we don’t know if we will be convicted of times where we have shouted praises then curses to God.

We know Jesus will be crucified for no crime he committed, but we don’t know how the crimes we have committed will be seen in the light of his innocence.

We know Jesus will forgive the thief on the cross, but we don’t know if those words will set us free or bind us to how we have withheld forgiveness to others for much smaller offenses.

We know Jesus’ dead body will be taken to a tomb, but we don’t know if we will be able to leave our past in the tomb.

We know God will raise Jesus from the dead, but we do not know how the resurrection will work in our lives.

We know, but we don’t know.

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, as we enter the passion of our Lord for the next three days we know we will be changed but we don’t know how, that is part of the mystery of the passion which we now enter.

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