The children walk down the aisles of our churches waving palms all around. Together, we reenact the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sundays are always festive times. Everyone knows that the next time they gather it will be Resurrection Sunday and Jesus will have won a great victory over death. The problem is that no one wants to walk through where one has to go to experience a resurrection…the darkness. I won’t say that resurrection celebration without darkness is not real…but I will say that resurrections do not happen without darkness…resurrections do not happen without death.
The story of Holy Week is that we have to travel into the darkness in order to arrive at a place of resurrection. Many of you only want resurrections…but you forget that darkness and death have to come first. The world is brought into being out of darkness. Life and light flows out of darkness.
Jesus becomes most fully God when Jesus decides to love and continues to travel deeper into the darkness. We all want sunny days…but God is found in the dark nights. Jesus becomes God in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus becomes God when there is the temptation to stay in the light but the knowledge that light is most fully realized in the darkness. Jesus pushes deeper still into the darkness so that Jesus might be the light of love in such a space.
If they got all the light they need and you strike match then they are going to complain about the smell…but if they are in darkness and you strike a match then there will be light for all to see a little bit better by.
Jesus pushes into the darkness and becomes the light of the world. You can too. Go to the dark spaces and bring some matches. For it is time that we all set the world on fire.