Retelling stories.

I said yesterday that there were two sets of readings for Sunday. There are the Palm Sunday readings and there are the passion readings.

If you are attuned to gathering primarily on Sundays, then it would be possible to go from the parade into Jerusalem to the escape from the tomb. As a result, you may completely miss that there was deep difficulty, despair, and death in between. So we spend a little time on Palm Sunday as part of the praise reminding ourselves of the passion.

Remembering and retelling stories matters. We know that well. Many of us have forgotten much from the last year. Unless there was something particularly traumatic or particularly delightful, it has all faded. And because we haven’t had the gatherings where we retold the stories – memorial services, family picnics, anniversaries – some stories are starting to fade.

That fading could lead to good things, however.

For example, retelling, reliving, the struggle Jesus had in the Garden of Gethsemane can take on new light this year, when many people felt alone, carrying deep burdens. Retelling, reliving, the last supper can bring to mind the delight the disciples felt in anticipating this meal together with Jesus.

On Sunday we remembered both the palms and the passions. Today is Tuesday. Set aside time in the next couple days to read through the stories from just before the crucifixion.  Not to study them, but to read them, like a retelling. (Here’s some help: “Finding Holy Week stories“) If you are gathering somehow, spend less energy on how excited you are to be with people and a little more energy on the telling and retelling.

We will, I think, learn.


A collection of prayers and reflections from the last year is now available as God. We Still Need You.