We are in one of the most holy times of the Christian year. We have been in Lent for several weeks as we are preparing with other Christians around the world for Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. In Disciples of Christ churches (the denomination I am ordained in) and most Protestant churches we don’t generally observe what is known as “holy week,”the week that is from Palm Sunday to Easter.
I had an opportunity when I was in seminary to preach at our weekly chapel service and I was assigned the Tuesday of Holy Week. I struggled with the notion that for most Christians the Easter journey went from Palm Sunday, a day filled of joyous cries to the one who comes in the name of the Lord to Easter Sunday when Jesus arose from the dead. I called this jumped from Palm Sunday to Easter, “The Easter Detour.”
It’s easy not to think about or reflect on the implications of the Last Supper and even Good Friday, the day Christ died. But Easter doesn‟t mean as much if we fail to recognize the significance of Holy Week; it is during this time of Lent, of reflection and of prayer that we are able to understand with better clarity what Easter is about, what Easter can mean for us, how Easter effectively changed the world.
We can’t jump from Palm Sunday to Easter and still learn that lesson. I pray that this season of Lent has been one where you experienced Christ in a new way and were able to focus on this journey we are taking together. I also pray that during Holy Week you would be able to attend a Maundy Thursday Service and/or maybe participate in a Good Friday Prayer Vigil. If you are not able to then try to find time in your day to pray and reflect on the meaning of these Holy Days.
May we experience Christ this Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter in a powerful way.