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From the triumphant entry into Jerusalem that opens Holy Week on Palm Sunday to the last rousing hymn of resurrection hope that we sing to close worsip on Easter Sunday, I love everything about Holy Week.
Sure, most of us are going to have another virtual experience with it, but we have come to see that even in a virtual world the elements of good worship are present.
How about let’s all close our eyes and rehearse the snapshots that set this week apart. With each image we can conjure, let’s pause for a moment and see where the sacred wants to speak to us this week.
I see the children marching down the aisle waving their palms while the congregation sings “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.”
I hear the story unfold of how Jesus sent the disciples into the nearby town to purchase a donkey.
I thrill as we hear of a first cheer from a crowd this week: “Hosanna in the Highest!”
I pause for a moment in a foreshadowing of the crowd that will chant something very different later in the week.
My pulse quickens a bit as we hear about the turning over the tables in the temple.
I wander forward to a table set for a last meal. It will be here that the betrayer and the denier share bread and cup with each other and their companions.
I see the towel and the bowl.
I hear the quiet, contemplative, plaintive rendition of “Were You There.”
I feel again the confusion of the disciples listening to Jesus talk about his crucifixion, wonder at their indifference as they fall asleep as he prays with them in Garden, and try to imagine their shock and fear as the soldiers arrive to take him away.
Anger rises as I hear the equivocations of the magistrate who washes his hands of the matter. It peaks as a second crowd assembles. How did we get from our Hosannas to ‘crucify him’ so quickly?
I weep as we speak again of the crown of thorns, the sword in the side, the nails in the hand.
Father forgive them.
You will be with me in paradise.
Lama sabachtoni. My God, why have you forsaken me.
And then the darkness.
The women at the tomb.
The empty tomb.
The dawning awareness of a hope against hope; a resurrection; a triumph over the grave.
He lives and so shall we.
A Gloria in Exelcsis Deo.
Yes, our grief is turned to joy once again on this, our journey Into the Mystic.