In late 2019, on a whim that quickly became a reality, I booked a trip to Poland and Germany for May of 2020 with my coworker. We were going to trace the steps of St. John Paul II through his home country and then end the trip with a couple days in Oberammergau, where we were going to attend its famous Passion Play – an event that has happened every ten years for over 380 years.
This high scale performance came into existence in 1633, when in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, the people of Oberammergau promised to act out the Passion of Christ if they would be spared from the suffering and death of a quick-spreading plague. They were spared, and so fulfilled their promise every ten years since.
This intense and involved play takes almost a year of preparation and rehearsal, and enlists the help of the entire town’s population. With nearly half a million people scheduled to view this once in a lifetime event, it’s imperative the performance that is delivered is all at once moving, spiritual, and awe-inspiring.
Because of the nature of this Passion Play’s legacy and history, I had every confidence that in May of 2020, I would be seated amongst hundreds of others to see the performance myself. When the world started to shut down in March due to the Coronavirus, I told my travel partner, “Oberammergau is the result of a plague, there’s no way they would cancel it for this!”
Well, lo and behold, things did not clear up by May and the Passion Play was rescheduled for two years later, in May of 2022. On May 14, Oberammergau had its first performance of the 2022 season of the Passion Play. Two years later, but still happening.
During this Easter season, the daily readings are constantly reminding us of the goodness of God, His faithfulness to His people, and the fulfillment of His promises. When things are taken from us, beyond our control, and all seems lost, it means we must cling closer to Christ and trust in His timing and His will. Of course now, we can look back with 20/20 vision and see the end of what was two years of uncertainty, but at the beginning, we were far from knowing exactly what would unfold before us.
As we continue on in this Easter celebration, let us think back to the situations in which our Lord faithfully answered us and remain steadfast as He continues to carry us through the unknown, and in all things, let us go rejoicing.