Reflections on Holy Week
As we find ourselves in the midst of this most unusual time, on the precipice of what is sure to be a most unusual Easter, I find what I love most about Holy Week taking an even more clear and defined shape than I am used to. My favorite thing about Holy Week is how it leaves so much room for the night and the day, the sun and the moon, the darkness and the light- it gives a picture of grace and allowance for every conceivable feeling that we may find ourselves in.
We know the anticipatory joy of Palm Sunday. The crowds and the excitement and the wonder, perhaps tinged by a bit of unease; what my friend, Rev. Sara Gross-Samuelson refers to as a holy disruption.
We know the conflict and the vulnerability that comes with having our temple tables turned over and exposed.
We know the confusion and the invitation into wonder, the reframing of what it means to be a King and to show love, that comes with Maundy Thursday and the breaking of bread and pouring of wine that somehow means more than we can ever conceive.
We know the devastation and the feelings of failure of loss that comes with good Friday, where our grief is keen and fresh.
We know the foggy in-between of Holy Saturday, that odd place where the world begins to spin on but the pain of what you have lost is no less devastating.
We know the trembling, almost unbelieving joy, of Easter, of resurrection, of new life, of that thing that you most longed for taking shape in front of you and barely being able to see it or recognize it.
And, if on this Sunday, on this Easter, you find yourself still carrying something of Good Friday in your heart- I think, I REALLY think, that’s okay, because every last scrap of it is a part of what it means to be human, and I know Jesus understands that (that’s kind of the point isn’t it?).
This whole week makes me think (because I’m who I am, and I can never write or think about anything without somehow making a Star Wars reference) of how Holy Week is perfectly captured in that conversation in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Holy Week shows us the repeating patterns of human behavior and human folly and human beauty. It speaks of the rhythms of life, of the tension and the conflict that creates both fear and change; of the truths that are mysterious but invite us into a place of surrender and wonder; of the death that must happen in order to experience resurrection, how each one is chased by the last and leads to the next.
These cycles are not always easy, and it does us no good to pretend they are. But when we begin to see them for what they are, for what they create in a world filled with broken and beautiful humans, we begin to see the cycle, and what may come next. It does not negate the grief, Easter does not take away the scars, but perhaps in that knowing, in that recognition of the ebb and flow of the world around us, and in us, we can begin to experience each season in the most authentic and honest, and, maybe, even begin to see the hope that can exist in each new