What‘s happening at Saint Paul’s: April 15, 2022

The story we have told this Holy Week is a hard story. It is hard because we feel so deeply in the midst of all Jesus endured for us. It is, after all, the foundational story of our faith. It is also hard because of the way this story has been told over the ages. Jesus was a faithful Jew. The disciples were Jews. Our very faith is grounded in the ancient Hebrew scripture that they lived by and that we, too, read both in the daily office and as part of our Sunday lessons. And yet, there is language in the New Testament that we will hear during Holy Week and today, Good Friday that vilifies the Jews. One can find historical reasons for why such language exists, but as Amy-Jill Levine says, “Christians, hearing the gospels during Holy Week, should no more hear a message of hatred of Jews than Jews, reading the Book of Esther on Purim, should hate Persians…. After two thousand years of enmity, Jews and Christians today can recover and even celebrate our common past, locate Jesus and his earliest followers within rather than over and against Judaism, and live into the time when, as both synagogue and church proclaim, we can love G-d and our neighbor.” Here is the link to her article.

We invite you to spend some time exploring and reflecting on this article that helps us to more deeply engage with the telling of the story of the death of Jesus in relationship to the role of the ancient Hebrews, and the way the retelling of this story has impacted our siblings of the Jewish tradition for many generations. May our hearts and minds be open to the many ways God’s justice is breaking into the world. And we pray that we will continue to hold that flame of justice and love in our hearts and at the core of this community.

With the love of Christ and the joy of Christ’s resurrection,

The Rev. Carolyn H. Eklund, the Rev. Katie Holicky, the Rev. Mary Lee Wile