With so much going on in the world, is it silly to insist on giving so much time and energy to the religious observance of Holy Week? If you have asked yourself this same question, the Rev. Anna Tew, a Lutheran pastor serving Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in South Hadley, Massachusetts, offers a wonderful response…
The narratives that form us — the religious stories of our faith — are the lens through which we see the world around us. Holy Week invites us to forget that we know how the story ends and place ourselves into the story itself: to feel the palm branches, to taste wine and bread, to feel cool water on our feet as they are washed, and to come and mourn at the foot of a wooden cross. In a world surrounded by disease, death, and suffering, we are being called to stare both love and suffering in the face. We are called today into the story of Jesus – and called to pay attention to it anew and let it form us. Through this story we can begin to answer some hard questions about justice and peace and disease and suffering and death and resurrection and hope.
We are in this story, now. We are the disciples. We are the witnesses. Learn again to see our world today through the disciples’ eyes, so that maybe we can find hope for justice and healing in the midst of the chaos and pain in the world around us.
This week, we religiously observant Christians have the opportunity to live through the story we proclaim, day by day: the story of the last days of Jesus Christ, his last meal with his friends, his death by execution, and an unexpected and joyous ending. We do so with our ancestors in faith, and we do so with those yet to be born, who will follow us in Holy Weeks to come.
Read her full post here.
Giving so much time and energy to this week full of religious observances is not a waste. Compare it to a vaccination, infusing mental immunity in our heart, soul, mind and body, building protection against hopelessness, inoculating ourselves with what truly matters.
Plan ahead to make Holy Week at Home meaningful from Palm Sunday to Easter morning or walk the Way of the Cross at home. And on Saturday, April 3, remember this is the night when we gather as God’s people to light the new fire and hear the stories that teach us who we are and what our God is like. This night we welcome candidates for baptism and join in the Renewal of Baptismal Vows. This night we are united in the taking, blessing, breaking, and sharing of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist. This night is an especially long evening for excellent reasons.
This week is the week to immerse ourselves in the story, embrace the value of tradition, and infuse our life with love made manifest through Jesus.