Wednesday in Holy Week, 8th April 2020

The path to Passover seems inexorable; we know it so well and we know that Judas has the chance to say ‘no’ to his temptation as much as Jesus has the chance to say ‘no’ to his. But the plot unfolds inexorably and there’s a dread about its inevitability. So the temptation then becomes to get it over and done with as quickly as possible, but the minutes of each day hold fast, for they too are inexorable. And so it’s a time of patience for us all; a sharing in a drama which has been unfolding minute by minute since the world began. And spring has much of this quality, too. In one sense, we can’t wait for it to happen and for summer itself to unfurl and, in another sense, each day’s new surprise – its sheer unfolding – carries with it a sense of loss, a dread that this unfolding is already over , will not last, is one more sign of an approaching end.

In spring’s case the succession varies from year to year. Will it be the Orange-tip first or the swallows? The Black-cap or the Chaffinch? Will the Fieldfare have gone before the Mistle Thrush sings? And so on. This Easter tension speaks to us of that cosmic tension that assails us all. Not I, Lord, surely? we might ask. But, yes, for each of us the temptation to force time differently is the same. In this very special time of Covid-19, we have the chance to relish each moment as it comes, refusing to colour it ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Perhaps we could see Judas in this light too.