In case you are not from Wisconsin and/or you are paying attention, politics have asserted themselves into our pandemic. The center of the controversy revolves around voting rights and opportunity. The Democrat governor and the Republican legislature and judicial branch do not agree on how to proceed with the primary election—held today.
I’m not going to get involved in the political debate here. Suffice it to say, I voted this morning and spent the afternoon in Egg Harbor as a ‘Community Volunteer’ to help.
If we think that this holy week should be devoid of politics, we are not paying attention to the Jesus story. Pilate and Herod join political forces to deal with the Jesus problem. They are not solving a moral, ethical, or religious situation. They join their political power to address a political situation. With each challenge by the Pharisees, with each trap they lay, with each crowd that clamors for blood, the politics of power and powerlessness come into full view.
For your Holy Week comedy viewing pleasure, I recommend Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Brian is the baby born in the manger next to Jesus. His life parallels the life of Jesus with the usual Monty Pythonesque absurdity.
There is a terrific scene in which Brian tries to join one of the political movements in Jerusalem, The People’s Judean Front, not to be confused with the Judean People’s Front or the Judean Popular People’s Front. What holds them all together is their mutual hatred of the Romans—and the other rival political factions.
I wish these days would be marked by mutual love and a common commitment to do good. It is our myopic sense of what is good that derails us. What is good for me, might not be good for you. What is good for you, might not be good for me. In the end, I’m not sure if our politics can ever meld the two goods. I’m not even sure if the church can. I do, however, believe that God can and will unite all that is factious between us. It just might take a week like this week, in days like these days to prove it.