I have grown up in the Church and my body memory tells me that tomorrow starts a week of reflection and Church going. It is the last week of Lent, Palm Sunday, it is the week of the Seder Dinner, Maundy Thursday services and then Good Friday services. Then, of course, we cap it off with a beautiful Easter Service.
Well, that is if we had normalcy in our lives this week.
But there won’t be any community gatherings or any Easter services. There won’t be family gatherings or big Easter dinners. And yet it is still the last week of Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.
What will Holy Week look like during all this disruption?
I would imagine that many years ago, Holy week was all about disruption. When I try to imagine all the days held, I would believe there was anticipation, agony, mystery, loneliness, grieving, sorrow, and celebration.
I would guess we will feel some of the same this week. There is a lot of unknown surrounding us with life and death. There will be the disappointment of trips not taken, friends not seen, families not gathered, Worship not shared.
This picture is one of my favorite of the stained glass window in my Sanctuary. When I look at it, I am more aware of the ache of missing Worship, and I am brought more to the tender spaces of my heart where Worship is about more than being in a building.
There is so much that we carry as we anticipate this week, both in our personal lives and in our faith journey. I have this combo of the Crown of Thorns, the Cross and the heart on my wall. When I feel the thorns, I am more aware of Good Friday, and I consider all of my senses as I envision being present at the cross. I think of the taste of vinegar, the sweat and tears, the blood and the whip, the wailing and the darkness, the conversation, and the final words..”It is Finished”
I plan to spend intentional time each day in reflection using scripture, music, and writing. I know the music will speak most to my heart. I will google playlist for Holy Week, and I will play that each day as I journal and reflect on thoughts in my heart. I will miss singing Man of Sorrows, What a Name and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. I will miss the Stations of the Cross. I will miss the Tenebre service.
It is Holy Week even amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time for us to live our faith like no other time. Our witness to the world in 2020 is no longer about an invitation to Church on Easter. May we use this week to encourage, love, and speak into the lives of our neighbors and friends with the Hope we have, because of Good Friday and Easter!
Live Holy Week with intention in the days ahead.
Find Courage, Peace, Sorrow, Repentance, and Joy because of Jesus!
Blessed Be His Name!