After one whole year of lockdown restrictions and Covid-19, which put ‘dem’ into panic, we’re in Holy Week for the second time, a roller-coaster week of reflection: ranging from ‘green’ elation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a young donkey, through ‘purple’ anger over hypocrisy, self-interest and injustice, cursing the fruitless fig tree and overturning the tables in the Temple; with sweet memories of Jesus’ walking on ‘blue’ water and his promise of thirst-quenching Holy Spirit water, welling up to eternal life; the shiny ‘silver’ coins which Judas sold Jesus down the river with; the bitter-sweet ‘red’ wine of Thursday’s Passover and Lord’s Supper pointing to Jesus’ blood poured out for us all; the rough, skelf-strewn ‘brown’ wood of Jesus cruel cross to which we nailed and killed him on Good Friday; Silent Saturday’s depressing bleak and ‘black’ of dire death, Jesus sealed in the grave-cave by a massive rolled rock; through to the mixed-up multi-coloured diversity of colours and emotions bursting with the dawning reality of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
So, on Irvine’s Low Green walkway, next to the river and green bridge, there is an open invitation this Holy Week to join local primary schools, churches, groups and general public in decorating a long fence with all these colours (green, purple, blue, silver, red, brown, black & any-colour). And on Easter Sunday at noon the multi-coloured green bridge will offer up eggs and goodies for children and the young at heart as we celebrate the joy of Jesus breaking us out of the Prison and Panic of Sin, Darkness, Death, Hell and Satan.
Winter drained us of light and colour. Similarly, fear, anxiety and hopelessness can drain the colour from life, and suck joy from our souls. Jesus came to address such deep-seated darkness and the fear of death and falling short. He identifies and empathises with us in our sorrow, sadness, pain and panic; he dies to bury darkness and all that stops us seeing and trusting in God as The Almighty Parent Who loves us beyond compare.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be colour blind, but even worse is blindness to God’s Grace at work all around: in nature as Spring beauty bursts dark soil; in the care and concern of fellow humans demonstrating sacrificial love for their neighbour; in the Gospel stories of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and outpouring of God’s Spirit upon all people open to His transformational love. Come to Jesus and let him colour you in with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, purpose, belonging and identity as beloved child of God. Here’s how Jesus puts it Himself:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30 / MSG)
The new banner at Connexions attempts to portray what it is to emerge from the darkness and pitch-black bleakness of winter and pandemic’s tunnel. Holy Week and Jesus’ journey to be with us and lead us through the most difficult experiences of life and death assures us, as we emerge from lockdown’s darkness and dread, that Jesus is the ultimate vaccine and victor to trust in. Friend, ‘You are not alone!’