This morning’s reading from the letter to the Philippians is easy to overlook. It has two powerful and dramatic gospel readings over-shadowing it, one shortly before, another very soon after. The story of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem comes first, and it is laden with irony since Jesus himself is the only one who has an inkling that the ultimate destination of this journey is a cross on Golgotha. We know, of course, which only makes it all the more poignant for us to witness the adoration of the crowds whose shouts of Hosanna will so quickly turn to taunts and murder.
Today marks the beginning of Passiontide, the final two weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. These are days in which we are reminded that the God we worship is intimately acquainted with bodily suffering and death. Our focus as Christians now turns decisively towards the cross – not an empty one, for now at least, but one on which we can still see Jesus, suffering and dying.
There have been many reactions this week to the suspension of public worship in the Church of England, and in our own church here in Lincoln. Some people have been angry. Others have tried to negotiate ways to continue gathering for public worship, looking for loopholes in the restrictions that the Government and the national church have imposed. Others have refused to believe that this is really happening.
We have brought together a list of local groups and businesses offering services and support during this period