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The SPIRE – May 2017

May flowers (it’s a verb)! May bursts on the scene with an abundance of color. The variety of flowers popping up, the trees and flowering shrubs, the colorful clothes and regalia of graduations, and the living-color feeling that imbues your senses during the first walk in shorts on a sunny afternoon, the first outdoor ice cream of the year, or the first night sleeping with open windows.

May flowers and once again the season screams fertility, nature proclaims its power to generate and regenerate bloom after bloom. This is the time of year when possibilities are plentiful: the season of Eastertide, from Easter Sunday to Pentetcost.

Holy Week and Easter

Edwards Church, along with many other Christians just celebrated Palm Sunday. There were two processions entering Jerusalem that day. One from the east as Jesus rode a donkey (a symbol of industry, peace, and occasionally wealth) into the city flanked by followers and sympathizers. The other from the west as Pontius Pilate entered flanked by a cavalry of imperial soldiers and riding horse (a symbol of wealth, war, and power) drawn chariots. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God while Pilate proclaimed the kingdom of the Roman Empire. Those entering from the east were going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Passover. Those entering from the west were going to reinforce the Roman garrison that overlooked the Jewish temple and its courts, as they often did during the occasion of a Jewish festival. We experience the confrontation of the two kingdoms as the events of Holy Week continue to unfold with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

The SPIRE – April 2017

Unlike the birth of Jesus, which scholars agree did not occur in December, his arrest, torture and execution, which we remember during Holy Week, and his resurrection, which we celebrate on Easter, most definitely happened in the spring. Scripture refers to Jesus and his disciples coming to Jerusalem for the Passover, which is always in the spring, and Passover and Holy Week often overlap as they do this year.