Greetings, Third Church Friends!

We’ve journeyed for a year through Covid Times…and we’ve ended up back in Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week, 2021. We couldn’t have imagined twelve months ago that it would be such a long trip, especially since so many of us haven’t traveled very far at all. An outing to Wegmans now serves as a night out!

No big processional for worship this year. However, more than a few of you drove through the Arnold Park lot last week to pick up your 2021 palms. So in your own space and in your own way, you will wave your branches this Sunday. Holy Week will begin, that roller-coaster experience of joy and sorrow, excitement and exasperation, support and betrayal. It doesn’t matter that over five-dozen re-enactments of these events are stashed in my memory chips. I do my best—and mostly succeed—in feeling like this is the first time I’ve ever done this. I guess that’s a good thing. I never tired of the holy drama.

Another thing that doesn’t seem to change, though we very much would welcome it, is that our lives and our worship are overshadowed by hatred, pain, tragedy, and loss. Discrimination, oppression, and death elbow their way into our daily consciousness. TWO mass shootings in the last several days, one clearly targeting Asian residents near Atlanta. Compassion fatigue threatens as we grow weary of the news. We wonder what else, what more we might do in the face of these evil forces. It seems at the very least we can join with the now-large majority of
citizens who support stricter gun-control laws. I have yet to hear a good argument about how the Second Amendment guarantees the right of any regular citizen to own and publicly brandish a weapon designed for one purpose only: to kill people.

At the very foundation of our faith resides the enduring hope that comes to us BECAUSE we are willing to re-enact the events of this season. Holy Week begins with a parade, finds us buffeted by the windy powers of evil, and breaks forth in beauteous heavenly light at the beginning of the next week/season. Sounds like a pretty contemporary event. We keep trudging toward that light.

Hosanna!

Pastor Zomermaand
pastorz@thirdpresbyterian.org
Office: 585-271-6513, ext. 105; Cell: 618-606-1053 (after hours; emergencies)