Robins everywhere—Daffodil sightings—and the crocus’ survived another winter! Easter is around the corner. As we finish our Lenten journey, we look toward Holy Week. There are people who don’t even know what Holy Week is. But for us, it is the holiest week of the year.
It starts with Palm Sunday (often called Passion Sunday because we read the story leading up to Jesus’ death). But it starts with us waving palm branches and remembering how Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. How many of you remember waving palm branches on Palm Sunday growing up? I do, and I’m sure the children of this congregation will remember that long after they have grown up.
After Palm/Passion Sunday, we gather for worship again on Maundy Thursday. “Maundy” comes from a Latin word, which means Mandate or Command. Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment that you love one another.” It’s Love Thursday! Jesus also washed the disciples’ feet that night—the job of a servant. It’s Serve Thursday! And he gave us holy communion. The Last Supper becomes the Lord’s Supper.
Good Friday is as important as Easter. You cannot have resurrection without death. Good Friday at Faith is a quiet, even mystical event where, in the dim light, we hear scripture, sing Taize songs, and light candles in bowls of sand. We remember Jesus’ death on the cross—a death that brought LIFE! Good Friday is only good because it is followed by Easter.
Easter is the day we shout “Life!” in the face of “Death!” In this crazy world, death appears to have won. There is suffering and pain everywhere we look. Our hearts break for victims of illness, accident, disasters, and war. We suffer with friends whose marriages have broken, whose children are hurting, who have lost jobs, or who live with the burden of anxiety and depression.
Through his death and resurrection, Jesus has entered their world of suffering. Jesus has entered our world, and he brings life in the face of death—light in the midst of darkness. Somedays this is hard to believe. On other days, this is all we can believe. This Holy Week, enter into this sacred space and hold on to the promise of God: Jesus is here! Thanks be to God!