The Liberating Pain of the Passion

We may celebrate Palm Sunday as the joyful return of Jesus to Jerusalem, but the liturgy also contains the Passion; a story full of pain, despair, and utter heartbreak. “God came as human to the bone,” preaches the Rev. Michael A. Bird, “which means human enough to experience human doubts, bone-deep despair, and betrayal.” As we remember and retell our story this Holy Week, he encourages us to embrace this pain and allow it to liberate us. Because our story does not end there. “The light is meant to shine through, if we have the courage to allow it, and see it, and serve it.” The scriptures are Isaiah 50:4–9a, Philippians 2:5–11, Psalm 31; and Mark 15:1–39.