A Meditation Heading into Holy Week
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP 219)
As I looked through the posts on my Facebook page this morning I saw that a friend just lost her mother. Another friend is having an operation and I didn’t know she was ill. Someone else posted about a new experimental drug trial he is starting for his (so far) incurable disease. And there were others. Sometimes life is just really, really hard.
We have now entered Holy Week, a hard week for Jesus that ends really, really well. New life often comes after a very tough time and maybe that is what makes it more recognizable as new life. I remember growing up in a faith tradition that didn’t celebrate Holy Week. Instead Easter just sort of popped up each year. Even though I knew the story growing up in that church, I never “walked” through it, taking the time to understand each part of that difficult week for Jesus. In my youth resurrection just didn’t seem that important to me because there was no concept of suffering and death before. Instead, I skipped to the end of the story, new clothes, and chocolate bunnies.
For those who work in the church Holy Week can be exhausting with the preparation required, the multiple services, and the managing of details. But it is also a week when we walk with those who are looking for good news in the midst of difficulties, for a savior who understands and redeems suffering, and for resurrection. May this Holy Week be a time to truly walk the week with Jesus and others who are longing for resurrection. We know by faith that there is glorious new life beyond what we can imagine at the end.