Purple - the colour of shadows
We arrive at Holy Week. The week begins with the welcoming crowds as Jesus enters Jerusalem. There are cheers and celebrations, but the shadow of the events yet to come are present even amidst these celebrations.
Not everyone perceives the shadows in real time. It is only afterwards, upon reflection, the shadows are noticed.
It is in this week that the disciples gather for what is now known as the Last Supper the undercurrent caused by the presence of shadows is evident. Jesus shares bread and wine with the disciples and tells them of what is to come. He washes their feet to show them Jesus’ talks of betrayal, suffering, rejection and death. The disciples speak of their commitment to stand beside Jesus and argue amongst themselves who is the greatest. The shadows are lengthening.
It is amongst the shadows cast by the trees in the olive grove at Gethsemene, where Jesus is arrested, betrayed by one of his own.
The events that followed are full of shadows.
Shadows are with us, both when we expect them and when we least expect them.
Jesus comes alongside us in our shadowy times. We are not rejected or abandoned or betrayed.
Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled, and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”
Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don't make me suffer by drinking from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”
He came back and found his disciples sleeping. So he said to Peter, “Can't any of you stay awake with me for just one hour? Stay awake and pray that you won't be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”
Matthew 26:36-41 (CSV)
Some time during this week I encourage you to read the events of Holy Week from one or more of the gospels. Here’s a good starting place in each gospel. Matthew chapter 26, Mark chapter 14, Luke chapter 22 or John chapter 12.
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