This Sunday, we enter into Holy Week. And many of the things we treasure most about these days will be absent. We won’t break bread around one long table for our beautiful Maundy Thursday meal and foot washing service. We won’t gather in a hushed and holy sanctuary to sing and pray and weep our way through the passion of Jesus on Good Friday. We won’t hold a prayer vigil on the lawn on Holy Saturday. There won’t be flowers on the cross or eggs on the lawn or pews packed with beautiful people on Easter Sunday.
We won’t have any of those things and I will miss them.
But, these things we won’t have—they were never the things that made this week holy. The things we’ll lack were never the things we were supposed to be celebrating. The moments we’ll miss were never meant to be the sacred center of this holy week that tethers us to our faith.
They were only signs. Beautiful and powerful—but only signs. They were never holy—they only pointed us toward the Holy in our midst.
The life-giving Holy reality remains, and we may be able to see it and celebrate it and experience it more fully this year than ever.
I believe that these might be the most powerful holy days we ever live.
They will be stripped down and strange and uncomfortable. And they will help us see that it is God who gives us life, not our sacred rituals. We don’t produce Holy Week and Easter for ourselves—we make a space for God to reveal salvation through Jesus Christ.
So, I invite you to enter into this Holy Week with all the real feelings you have—doubt, loss, and fear are welcome. But, make room for some unreasonable expectations and wild anticipations. Because—it’s Holy Week, and there is power and life in the cross of Jesus our savior.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, those who understood who he was and why he was coming waved branches to celebrate. They rejoiced that he was the savior of the world. They celebrated that he was coming to destroy everything that destroys us. Authorities tried to shut them up, but Jesus said nothing can stop the joy and hope of those who know him.
So, nothing will stop us either.