Given by Rev. Madison Shockley April 10, 2022

We have an unfortunate habit of domesticating and sanitizing Jesus and his message. We being the main stream, middle class state sanctioned religion. People forget what events took place during Holy Week in Jesus’s time as we celebrate. There is a disconnect with the word crucifixion and the brutal act.  The cross represents a means of torture, death, and execution. It was the way the early Christians demonstrated their faith. They would rather die than abandon their faith. This moment of Jesus’s life seems to be bracketed with celebrations. This was a dangerous time for Jews though. Roman troops were increased to make sure the Jews did not get out-of-hand as they celebrate receiving their freedom from slavery from Egypt. A celebration done while they were being occupied by the Romans.  Three days after Jesus’s death, we celebrate his resurrection. We barely have time to let the idea that even those who God loves die. We have lost the sense of danger and risk involved in being a Christian. How do we be Christians in a time of war such as in Ukraine? We must ask what would Jesus have us do. What is the role of the church during times of war? These are difficult questions. Will we raise our voices for peace even if it is not popular or will we be silent?