Palm Sunday marked the beginning of our holiest week of the year as Christians. It comes at the end of our Lenten pilgrimage, the trip from the solemnness of Ash Wednesday to the lilies of Easter. It is a pilgrimage where we are not asked to erase what comes before and forget our journey, but to realize God’s call to us as the Easter sun rises over the hilltops of our cities. Lent, Good Friday and Easter are inseparable.
In Lent, we prepare ourselves to confront what the price of the damage and sin we bring into this world is: death. We must realize our mortality and the high cost of the hatred we hold in our hearts. We are forced to see how it is only through death that new life can come. Perhaps this is because joy and sorrow are far too intermingled in our lives. As Robert Brewer says, “Perhaps the same things that make us the most joyful also make us the most sad.”
There is no Easter without the crucifixion. There is no joy without sadness. Maybe what makes this week Holy is that in it we can be whole. We can know that it is OK to be sad and happy at the same time. We can see death and embrace life. It is OK to have good parts, and parts of us that we don’t love so much. Perhaps the Easter sun illuminates our lives a little better, and we can see that God’s invitation to us is to live life whole.
It is in Holy Week that we see that the Kingdom of God is more beautiful than we could ever have imagined, and that it is at hand. God is with us, and through the death of hate, injustice, prejudice and suffering, a new world is being born.
So what should you do to make these few days different?
Spend some extra time in prayer.
Step away from video games for one week and spend time with friends.
Volunteer to help those in need.
Listen to music that reminds you of beauty.
Forgive those who have hurt you.
Ask for forgiveness from those you have wronged.
Attend a Maundy Thursday service and a Good Friday Tenebrae.
And, when good Friday comes, set your eyes too the Easter morning.
May God’s love bless and sustain you in what remains of this Holy Week. May the blessings of Maundy Thursdays carry you through tomorrow and to the joy of Easter.