During World War II, the famous writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery was called back into active duty with the French Air Force. On July 31, 1944, while flying an unarmed observation mission, his plane was shot down by a young German flyer, and the great French writer was killed.
Now, it just so happened that the young German pilot who shot Saint-Exupery down had been in the process of writing his doctoral dissertation on the life and works of Antoine de Saint-Exupery none other than the great French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The German was an avid admirer of the Frenchman and almost worshiped him.
When the German learned who it was that he had shot down, he suffered a breakdown and had to be put in a psychiatric hospital. All he could do was repeat over and over and over, “I have killed my master! I have killed my master!”
It seems to me that this true story out of World War II is a capsule of one of the great tragedies of life: namely that sometimes we unwittingly kill what we love-our relationships, our families, our friendships, our relationship with the creation and our relationship with God.
The New Testament makes the audacious claim that there are no innocent bystanders at the cross of Jesus Christ. In fact, it goes so far as to claim that our sin nailed Jesus to the cross. The cross reminds us that we are sinners.
Regardless of how good we try to live our lives, we are complicit in all kinds of direct and indirect ways in the suffering of others. It’s enough to make you want to crawl into a hole and hide.
But the good news is that this is not the end of the story. God refuses to leave us in our tombs. God ushers in a new day when love and life rule. It is staggering, incredible, and desperately needed good news, that we need to hear again and again.
I hope you will join us at Sixth as we travel this incredible journey of desolation and consolation on Palm Sunday (March 20), Maundy Thursday (March 24), and Easter Sunday (March 27), celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Grace and Peace!
March Worship and Preaching:
March 6—Luke 15:11-32, “The Sacred Embrace”
March 13—Rev. John Stanger, Executive Director of Parity, Guest Preaching
March 20—Palm/Passion Hymns & Lessons
March 27—John 20:1-18, “When Jesus Is Missing”