Brothers & Sisters,
This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. If I’m being completely honest, nearly every year, there’s a part of me that resents it. Amidst the busy routine of life, it can sometimes feel like “just one more thing” that I don’t have time for. And there have been years, unfortunately, when I’ve treated it as such. As a result, Easter went by almost as if it had never even happened. Or let me rephrase that… Because I was too busy to press pause, I was generally unaffected by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Not okay!
I think this is a huge problem in our Church today. While most people remember the events of Holy Week as plain fact, far less actually take the time to relive these events, letting them shape and mold their lives. We’re too busy to go church on an extra night during the week (like Good Friday), let alone two (if you include Maundy Thursday). Our minds are too preoccupied — by work responsibilities, household chores, social media, and television — to devote our thoughts to the significance of Holy Week. And most of all, we’ve just become so comfortable in our indifferent stupor that it’s hard to comprehend our own need to sacrifice one whole week to Jesus, and follow him to the cross.
This is why tradition (like Holy Week) is so powerful. It gives us reason to pause in ways we may not usually be able to justify. It begs us to remember, re-experience, mourn, and celebrate things we would otherwise be inclined to forget. It breaks us out of the day-to-day grind and invites us to contemplate things eternal. If we really participate in it, it can be a wonderful means of grace, a gift from God.
My hope for Schweitzer this coming week is that every person would make a sincere effort to slow down and experience Holy Week. Make time for prayer and worship, to contemplate the weight and significance of these historical events. Ask God to give you greater insight into his love and the power of the gospel. Give God more of yourself than you are comfortable with, and receive from God all the wonderful blessings he has for you. There’s no biblical law that says you have to participate in these traditions, but I hope you choose to, anyway, that we may together be transformed by the incredible truths of our faith and the unending grace of Jesus Christ.
May God bless you in the coming week,
P.s. In case you don’t know, here’s everything going on at Schweitzer pertaining to Holy Week:
Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday
Seder Meal (spots are full)
Maundy Thursday @ 7 PM
Good Friday @ 6 PM & 7 PM
Sunday Morning — Easter