Were you there when…
…they crucified my Lord,
…nailed him to a tree
…pierced him in the side
…the sun refused to shine
…they laid him in the tomb
…rose up from the tomb…
sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble
were you there…..?
I have travelled through Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day this year with this excellent book, which I highly recommend. Having heard good reports of it I was very glad to find it in a charity shop last year! Brother Ramon, an Anglican Franciscan Friar, looks at the Easter story in depth through the eyes of different gospel characters. The first half week from Ash Wednesday is spent looking at the relationship of church and state at the time of Jesus (Pilate, Caiphas, the soldiers and the crowd). After this a week each is spent with John, Peter, Judas (see 15 March), Mary (his mother) and a day each with other characters who were drawn to the cross, for example Mary Magdalene and Simon of Cyrene (see 27 March). In Holy week the book reflected on the seven words of Jesus from the cross (see 6 April, Good Friday) leading up to the triumph of resurrection on Easter Sunday when, as Ramon reflects, the trembling of fear and sorrow gives way to, as he puts it, the trembling of joy at the realisation that Jesus is alive.
“The wonderful thing about this motif of trembling is that it not only evokes adoration, but it promotes humility. We are the Easter people and Jesus is our song, but we are not to become triumphalist in an arrogant or exclusivist mode. We must continue a trembling people, remaining open and loving with all those who cannot yet believe.
Jesus is alive, and we tremble before him. Jesus is in the midst and the trembling power of the Holy Spirit spreads itself among us. Jesus is risen today in our lives, in our church fellowship and in our world, and we tremble in celebration.”