En Prædiken til skærtordag ved Den Danske Kirke i Vancouver, B.C.

2Mos 12:1–11
1Kor 10:15–17
Matt 26:17–30

It’s Holy Week and this is a week with specials names for the days. It is not just Thursday or Friday, this week it is: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday…

So why is that?

Because these days are special, these are significant days compared to ordinary weekdays.

On Thursday in Holy Week, Jesus has dinner with his friends, this dinner has become the most famous dinner in history, and we have named it: The last supper. And, still after 2000 years in all churches around the world we celebrate communion in remembrance of the meal they shared on this particular Thursday.

So, the day of the last supper got a special name: Maundy Thursday. In Danish we call it: Skærtorsdag.

Both names have nothing to do with eating. The Danish word skær means clean! And skær is referring to Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

We are all familiar with washing our hands these days, but washing feet is different.

The English word maundy is short for mandatory and it is the same word we know from commandment.

The disciples do not want Jesus to wash their feet; but Jesus insists! It is mandatory!

He even tells them that he has a new commandment: Love each other like I love you!

And then he washes the feet of his disciples; he does this to show that: he who serves others is the greatest. But following the example of Jesus and washing each others’ feet is a somewhat difficult and challenging task.

Maybe we can use this Easter to pray that we can at least follow his commandment? Love each other like he loves us…

Friday this week also has a name, this is the day of the crucifixion. In Danish we have named this day Langfredag. A long sad day. In English, however, this day is called Good Friday.

How can this be a good day?

We all know about suffering. We might not know how it feels to be crucified, but I do not know anyone who has not been betrayed or felt any pain or felt abandoned and scared. That’s why I like the English name: Good Friday.

Because we all need hope, we all need reassurance of a happy ending. When life is unfair and cruel Jesus is there, he knows all about suffering, however he knows about hope and love, too.

There is more to life than pain, there is also hope and love, and that is why this day of sorrow in English is called Good Friday.

Can we spend Good Friday in sorrow and then leave our pain behind us? Or do we tend to live in pain all year round?

Maybe we can spend this Good Friday praying about the good things in our lives and leave all our suffering and sin with God?

And on the third day he rose again!

Easter Sunday some of his friends came out to the grave but the body of Jesus was not there! And that is why we celebrate Easter; He is risen! There is more to life than death.

And we share Easter eggs as a symbol of the tomb that cracks open and is full of new life.

Beyond what seems to be a hard shell, there is something new.

And we look at the blooming Easter lilies, the daffodils. This fall we planted daffodils in the driveway at All Saints. When we put the grey bulb in the ground it seemed like there was no life. How can anything come out of a dusty, withered bulb?

We can peel of all the layers and there is nothing inside, however, now during Easter this yellow flower is blooming like a little ray of sunshine, full of life.

The flower reminds us that life is full of life even when we can’t explain where the power to live comes from.

And that is why Easter is celebrated every year. Therefore, Easter Sunday has a special name; it is not just any Sunday!

Easter Sunday is here to give us hope, to let us know that there is great power in what seems like weakness.

Easter reminds us to be humble and to take good care of each other.

Easter is a time to meditate and pray on the life and words of Jesus.

It is a time to act and support others who need our help and comfort. And to remind each other that we are not here on Earth forever, so let us enjoy the good company of friends and family. Just stop for a while and anoint ourselves in the fellowship with others.

Easter is a time to enjoy life and be overwhelmed by the power of Spring and learn from the example of Jesus: Strengthen our hands and our wills for love and for service.

All this is obviously not easy during a pandemic!

So maybe this Easter spend some time every day in Holy Week to reflect and pray on what Easter means to you. In every life we have days with sorrow like Good Friday, and we have days with excitement and great joy like Easter Sunday.

A life is not all about one or the other; it’s about everything! Do we have our lives balanced, or do we tend to focus more on joy and try to forget about the tough days?

The hard times are shaping and moulding us too.

And there would be no joy on Easter morning if it wasn’t for the rest of the week as well.

Let’s try to treasure every day.

Because one day we shall all pass away and rise again with Christ, but all the rest of the days we shall live!

Now we have all heard it.

 So, onward then in the name of Jesus

Amen