Dear friends in Christ,
Once again we approach the beginning of Holy Week, the hinge connecting the seasons of Lent and Easter, and for many of us a time of intense worship and reflection. Holy Week invites us to acknowledge our dependence on God and be mindful of God’s gifts to us. Holy Week begins this Sunday, Palm Sunday, with our blessing and waving of palms, followed immediately by our passion drama which so graphically draws us into the realities of death and the cross as we move from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!”
Maundy Thursday evening brings us to the Upper Room and the Lord’s Table as we continue the passion with Jesus’s mandate to love one another. The reading from the gospel of John offers us a Jesus stripped for service. The washing, the bread, and the cup do not belong to us, but rather these gifts humble us and call us to humble service.
Good Friday brings us back to the cross as we remember the passion, and walk the journey that Jesus walked. Our noon day Stations of the Cross remind us of our own ability to abandon, to betray, to deny, and to move with the crowd without thinking or realizing our own failures. This service reminds us of our dependence on the gifts of forgiveness and new beginnings.
All of this prepares us for our Easter celebration of the risen Christ next Sunday morning as we sing, ring bells, and declare Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Christ is risen! We will find Jesus, not in his tomb, but in equally unexpected places. Where do we most need and least expect that gift, that word, breaking into our lives anew? My prayer for us is that as we journey we find unexpected hope, as we are transformed by the light and life of the risen Christ. Let us say our Alleluias and ring our bells with true joy. Alleluia!
Grace and peace,