In Holy Week we witness our Lord’s suffering and death, the darkness and abandonment of the tomb, the despair of sin, rejection, and betrayal. But Easter leads us out of despair and into hope, out of the tomb and into new life.
The Resurrection of Jesus is more than a commemorative event, it is the very meaning of God’s love. Through our Lord’s Resurrection we know that sin and death will not have the final word. By the Resurrection of Jesus the whole world witnesses God’s redeeming work: “that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made…” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 280.)
Each year during Holy Week I am reminded of my favorite choral anthem: “Jesus, so lowly” composed by Harold Friedell with words by Edith Williams.
lowly, Child of the earth: Christen me wholly, Bring me new birth.
Jesus, so lonely, weary and sad; Teach me that only Love maketh glad.
Jesus, so broken, Silent and pale; Be this the token Love will not fail.
Jesus, victorious, mighty and free; Teach me how glorious death is to be.
Edith Williams’s words are so beautiful because they contain the depth of our Easter faith: Death is not the final word. Our Lord’s victorious triumph over the grave is not a sentimental symbol, but a clear and distinct sign of this simple Easter truth: Love will not fail.
The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Priest-in-Charge