For thousands of years, followers of Christ have gathered together for the week leading up to Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. We call this week Holy Week. It is a time when we celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
Holy Week services are designed in such a way that helps us experience the entirety of that week some 2,000 years ago. Each service during the week takes us a little farther along in the journey, each service another leg of the journey, not only to the cross, but to the resurrection on Easter morning.
Our busy and scheduled lives have led people to miss the pivotal services that happen during Holy Week. We go from the Celebration of Palm Sunday to the Celebration of Easter without passing through the rest of Holy Week.
We miss something when we go from celebration to celebration. We miss the mandates of Maundy Thursday. We miss the Upper Room conversations that Jesus had with his disciples. We miss the Passion of Good Friday. We miss the anguish of betrayal and arrest. We miss the trials and tribulations. We miss the absence and waiting of Holy Saturday.
Holy Week is one long liturgy that works together to help Jesus’ followers travel the road of faith from Palm Sunday to Easter Morning. Holy week helps us encounter our own faith walk. From celebrations, to rejections, to suffering, to waiting. Then, ultimately, we make it to Easter and celebration once again. It is the story of Jesus. It is the story of our lives.
This year, we are celebrating Palm Sunday as we begin the journey to the cross. I encourage you to make room in your busy schedules for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. If you can’t be in person with us, pause at home or on the field or work or wherever you find yourself and reflect.
Reflect on the excitement and anticipation of Palm Sunday. Reflect on Jesus’ example of serving on Maundy Thursday. Reflect on the magnitude of that sacrifice Jesus made to save us from our sins. Reflect on the not yet and the waiting of Holy Saturday as we prepare our hearts for the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior and the celebration of Easter Sunday.
I encourage you to enter into the story and experience the week as it leads up to the celebration of Easter morning.