Preparing For Worship – Timothy Peoples, senior pastor.
There is an ancient myth regarding the origin of red roses. The Greek goddess Aphrodite fell in love with Adonis, a passionate hunter and the son of Myrrha and Theia. One day, Adonis went into the forest in search of animals, but he forgot a piece of advice Aphrodite had given him — to be very careful with animals that seemed not to be afraid. Adonis ignored this advice when he came upon a wild boar, and this turned out to be the end of his life.
The legend tells that Aphrodite was running to the body of her lover when suddenly she cut herself and her blood turned a white rose into a red one. When she got to Adonis, he said in his last few breaths, “Aphrodite, tell me: if love is meant to heal, then why does it destroy those who choose it?”
Today, we enter this Sanctuary with two scenes at play. The waving of palms and celebration of the man named Jesus, riding on a donkey into town. Many historians suggest some people were at the wrong parade because Pilate was also riding on a horse in a parade across town. We enter this space hopefully knowing which parade we are attending, but also aware celebration is not how this story ends — at least until we get to next Sunday.
We know there will be many roses changing colors from the piercing in the side and the thorns upon his head. And still to this day we ask a similar question as Adonis, “If love is meant to heal, then why does it destroy those who choose it?”
We are often in such a rush to Easter morn that we forget to sit with Good Friday. Not just the Good Friday of way back on Calvary’s hill, but the Good Fridays in our everyday lives. How our love for other things — guns, money, pride, greed, power, lust, etc. — has changed healing into destroying. As we gather into this Sanctuary today, my friends, I hope we choose a love that heals. I hope we realize a love so long ago manifested in this world, a love that did not just change the chemical balance of a rose, but a love so strong that it eternally changed the entire balance of the world. Oh, what love he has for us.