I’ll have to admit that I am somewhat uncomfortable leaving our Holy Week service in sadness and silence each year during this time of worship. I mean, I realize that it was a most discouraging and painful time for our Savior and His Disci-ples. But you and I have the benefit of knowing that Jesus prevailed and his disappointed and frightened followers were em-powered by visits from the Risen Jesus and the comfort and courage provided by the Holy Spirit. So, why so sad?
As followers of Christ during the Easter season, we want to be aware of the events leading up to this central event in human history. God came down to dwell among humanity. This individual, fully human and fully divine, was none other than our Savior Jesus the Christ. “He grew in stature and in favor with God and man,” and our knowledge of his childhood and youth and growth is rather limited. At 30 years of age he began his public ministry which lasted for approximately three years. This brief time of service included times of authoritative teaching, miraculous healings, selfless acts of love and com-passion and sometimes these acts of service stirred up jealousy, anger, misunderstandings among those he came into contact with.
These smoldering embers of negativity were fanned into flame by the religious leaders of his day culminating in a final week in the life of God on earth, Jesus. This began with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem with palm branch-, blanket- and cloak- strewn streets with masses of people shouting, “Hosanna,” which means save us now. And the week ended with the angry shouts of, “Crucify Him.” This is quite a change in perception as Jesus went from “God to Goat” in a matter of days.
This final week of Jesus’ earthly life, Holy Week, is so important to those who follow him today that our times of wor-ship need to lead us to experience the life of Christ and his followers during that span of time rather than just recount the events. We need to experience the emotions of the week from the misunderstood joy of Palm Sunday to the pain of deceit and betrayal on Maunday Thursday. We want to feel the frustration and confusion of Good Friday and the resulting devastat-ing disappointment of the Disciples over the week’s end. Finally, we want to sense the cautious optimism of early Easter morning leading to the unbridled euphoria of learning that Jesus is indeed the Risen Savior and we joyfully proclaim with the faithful….He is alive!
I guess what I am saying is this. I will be sad, somber, and silent at our Wednesday Holy Week service. I need the experience. But come Sunday….I am cutting loose!
I hope you will join me!
Andy O. 704-300-0062 firstname.lastname@example.org