Holy Week Reflection
April 13, 2014
Holy Week – beginning with Palm Sunday – has a definite fascination to it – for me and, I suspect, for all Christian people. And that fascination comes about due to the wide variety of experiences and emotions that our Lord knew during this one week. Think of it – from a hero’s welcome, to betrayal, to arrest and, finally, to death; from the crowd’s adulation to the loneliness of the cross; from affirmation to complete and absolute rejection. All of that in one week … this week … Holy Week.
I have felt that sense of fascination about this week through the years. So much of our Lord’s life was compressed into one week’s time. Indeed, a significant amount of what we know and what has been written about Jesus comes from this brief period. It is accurate to say that we know our Lord primarily through the eyes and the experiences of Holy Week.
Another reason for my fascination with Holy Week involves the sense that all of life is focused here. Here it is that joy and heartbreak are mixed together, along with unconditional love and deeply-felt fear and raw emotion – all exposed to the surface of living and of dying. This is life, at a basic and profound and primal level.
Holy Week offers yet another cause for fascination this year, it seems to me. The Episcopal Church in South Carolina knows more about Holy Week now than we did two years ago. We recognize the tribulations of Jesus in a new way now. We know in personal ways the range of emotion and experience that our Lord endured. Life has presented itself to us – brim-filled with reality and disillusionment and hope and death and liberation and sadness and celebration. Indeed, we, too, have known Holy Week – personally, intimately, deeply.
It is often observed that as Christians, we are Easter people … and so we are. But it is also true that we are Holy Week people as well.
Therefore, I invite you this year to a new appreciation of Holy Week. The story of Jesus in this time is our story also. Our Lord’s experiences and emotions are ones that we share with him. May we walk with Jesus as he encounters the highs and lows of this week, as he knows the full range of human emotions in this time, and as he keeps faith with the vast and varied experiences of Holy Week and of all of life itself. Amen.
The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg
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