This Holy Week the Good News can be hard to find. There are wonderful stories of heroism and selflessness, especially about our amazing workers in the NHS, but more about the horrific consequences of this evil Coronavirus. From the way it disproportionately affects the poor and will be unspeakably horrendous if it takes hold in poor countries in Africa to individual tragedies of loneliness, abuse, mental collapse and family meltdown it all makes pretty grim reading.
Against that background, Christians proclaiming Easter Good News might seem shallow or rather like the old Scouts’ quotation from their founder Robert Baden-Powell “A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances”.
Yet, in the first Holy Week, as the shadow of the cross looms ever larger and the Lord Jesus knows what is coming that St Luke tells us (Luke 20:1) “Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the Good News.” Good News to a downtrodden race in an occupied country, Good News against in the presence of religious leaders to whom power was more important than truth, Good News as the powers of darkness prepared to unleash every weapon in their armoury against Jesus.
Unconquerable love, amazing grace, God himself paying the price in Jesus for the mess and sin of the world, the resurrection proving Christ’s victory, the promise of eternal life for all who believe in him……that all adds up to Good News. It doesn’t take away the sadness of the here and now but the Lord who died wipes our tears, carried our sorrows and will see us through.
The Very Revd Robert Key