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Life in Greencastle

"All the world is a stage," Shakespeare said, "and all the men and women merely players." So it is. But, what is this drama? What drives the story of "life?" The drama - the tension of life - is the ongoing battle between the bitterness of death and the sweetness of life. That is what plays out upon the stage of our lives. We are at once and forever learning about dying and about living.

Now - beginning today - the drama increases; it intensifies. We move now into the heart of our faith: the holy communion of Thursday, the darkness and dying of Friday, the awful silence of Saturday, and the joyful birth of Sunday. We move into dying and living. We move along with the lead actor - this Jesus from Nazareth.

So where are you in this drama? What role do you play?

Are you like the disciples sent ahead to prepare the Seder meal - following your Master's orders obediently?

Are you like the disciples who find it hard to stay awake - nodding off to sleep during the late news, unaware of how much is at stake?

Are you like Peter who watches with great dismay and horror the way your Lord gets tossed about and humiliated?

Are you like the hundreds who stand awaiting the verdict upon Jesus so they too can make a choice whether to believe or deny?

Are you like Pontius Pilate who is bewildered and uncertain with the passion of Jesus' living and dying?

Are you like Simon of Cyrene who is caught up in these events under the compulsion of others (dragged to church, perhaps?) only to discover a freedom in the weight of the cross?

Are you like Mary Magdalene who moves through Thursday and Friday with a terrible weight of love and pain?

Are you like John - that beloved disciple - who feels himself embraced again and again by an undeniable love even in the face of death?

Are you like the centurion who sees in Jesus' dying a powerful testimony of God's loving and desire to give us life?

Are you like the thief who just wants to taste paradise?

Are you like Joseph of Arimathea who will come to believe that Jesus' dying is not something to run from but to embrace as our only hope of living?

Are you so vested in Jesus that when he dies, you die ... or are you a curious bystander, noting his obituary tucked away in the paper as you drink your coffee and flip over to the comics?

Are you longing for life ... and frightened by death?

We are all of these persons in some way. And, the drama still goes on. Though the places change from Golgotha to Greencastle and the customes too are altered over time. Still, we are in it as much as those persons were. We are in the drama of descending into death - hoping for new life.

It is Thursday. Tonight we gather as a community at 6 pm to share a meal as Jesus did with his disciples ... to plunge into the deep, ancient rhythms: bitterness of death, sweetness of life. Tomorrow, we gather at 7 pm in our sanctuary to observe the beautiful scandal of Jesus' dying. On Saturday, we wait in hope, looking for life with our children - the ones who help us move through our grieving. And on Sunday we gather to be awakened with awe. We walk quietly to meet Jesus at the tomb. But, behold! Death, as John Donne said, "thou too shall die!"

Come then, all of you, children of God. Join us on that triumphant Sunday, all of us upon the stage with our hero at the helm again - singing our Alleluias to the One who wins victory for life over death. Join us at 8 am on Sunday morning as we say thanks to Jesus through prayer and song and our own words. Stay with us for a shared meal at 9 am - bringing your own gifts of food for the community. Then, for the first time or one more time, celebrate our Lord's living through our worship at 10 am.

Join us for the drama of life over death where "weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Ps. 30:5)

Join us as we proclaim that death shall indeed by trumped by the great dawn of the Resurrection and the Life.

Wes

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