Easter Day April 17, 2022
Have you ever had that feeling of injustice? The feeling that you have been wronged by another, although you believe that you have done no wrong, you have done right.
Surely, Jesus must have felt that way, being crucified between two convicted criminals.
Only earlier that week, on Palm Sunday, he had been welcomed, not on a high-armoured-horse, like a conquering king, but humbly on a donkey. The crowd greeted him by laying their clothes on the ground to soften the donkey’s path and waving palm leaves signalling the triumphal entry of Jesus, their liberating Messiah.
Unfortunately, already the chief priests were planning to to put Lazarus to death as well as kill Jesus, for the chief priests’ followers were leaving them to follow Jesus after he had performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.
Even Jesus’ disciples lost the courage of their convictions during that week of passion.
He went with some of his disciples to the the garden of Gethsemane. He asked them to keep watch, to protect him. Peter had, not one, but two swords in order to defend his Lord.
Jesus went further into the garden and lay on the ground praying, “My Father, if it is possible, do not make me drink from this cup. But do what you want, not what I want.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter, adding, “This very night, before the rooster crows thrice, three times, you will disown me.”
Peter said that he would never deny his Lord, and when the ‘high’ priests and their servants came to take Jesus, Peter took to the sword and smote, hit with a sword, one of the high priest’s servant – Malchus, and cut off his right ear. Of course, Jesus healed that slashed ear, even knowing that he was soon to be put to death by the wishes of those very high priests, and by law, by the method of their Roman occupiers.
After his act of healing, Jesus rebuked, criticised, Peter, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” Peace, not weapons, is the way of our Lord.
Finally he was betrayed, “Greetings, Rabbi!” Judas said, and he kissed Jesus very lightly. “Fellow, for what purpose are you present?” Jesus responded. Answering his own question, Jesus said: “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” By kissing Jesus, Judas showed the ‘high’ priests and their servants which one of the men was Jesus, so they could take him to be murdered.
Last Thursday, I was waiting patiently aside an elderly gentleman who was making photo-copies. He was having problems with enlarging his documents. For example he wanted to make A5 into A4 – double the size! So he thought 200%.
I saw his problem, and tried to explain (in Japanese) that he needed to expand by √2=141% as he was increasing the size at a perpendicular angle. On reflection, even native-speakers would have difficulty in understanding this Euclidian geometry. Perhaps I should have said that a perpendicular angel 👼 is √2❗️
He said, [あかん] and physically pushed me away, so I sat patiently whilst he continued to berate, get angry, and punch the machine.
Finally, a 社員 , an employee came to save the photo-copier from irreparable damage and explained most politely that 200% does not mean twice the size. “Please trust the machines’s instructions.” Please believe, please have faith.
He wouldn’t listen and continued to stubbornly ignore the counsel, the advice, of others.
I gave up and left, and, a couple of hours later, returned.
YET ANOTHER customer was having trouble with that wretched photo-copier! I could see that the payment-coin-receiver-module was separate from the copy machine. So the problem was likely that the connection had been cut. The staff were running around, panicking, in search of a 専門, an expert.
In the meantime, we (the other customer and I) cautiously moved both machines and disconnected them (electrically) for fifteen seconds (the average time it takes for latent, remaining, electricity to disperse from an electronic device) reconnected them and pushed the coin-machine and photo-copier back into place. We then sat quietly, awaiting the return of the ‘expert’.
The ‘expert’ finally came, “What’s the problem?” he asked, as all was now well. The lady who had initially had problems with the coin machine was able to make her copies. Once she had finished, I prepared to make my copies, opening my books up on the adjoining table and opened the lid of the copier ONLY TO FIND that she had left her bank book on the screen, so I dashed, ran, out to the car-park to return it to her. She was very apologetic, “I’m SO sorry.”
“Not at all, I am sure you would have done the same.”
“You are too kind.”
“I’m happy to help…etc.” It was quite a long conversation❗️
On returning to the photo-copier I was confronted by a grumpy, angry, man, complaining that I had left “a right mess” around HIS machine. I apologised and did my best to tidy-up my ‘mess’ of books, whilst he berated, scolded, got more angry with me about my nuisances (迷惑.)
This may seem somewhat obscured from Easter, and unrelated to today’s readings, but at that time I felt a sense of injustice. I saw the ‘not-so-good’ in one of God’s children. Some reject, others help, some are grateful, whilst others are angry and selfish. But on reflection I thought, “Most of God’s children do good some of the time, some of God’s children do good most of the time, but none God’s children do good all of the time.”
We are all God’s children. May he forgive us our mistakes and our sins, help us in our struggles, and nourish us to be those who strive, have the courage, to make earth, as it is in heaven. Christ showed us how to live, died for our sins, and now lives amongst us though the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is risen and lives amongst us, Hallelujah!