A funny thing happened to me this morning. My computer decided it was time. I have been living on borrowed time with that computer, I know. But my laptop today has had enough. I am hopeful that I will be able to access the hard-drive some how, but that’s probably not going to be likely. It’s my own fault for not backing up everything of mine lately. At least most of what I have done is available online now. It’s more of a bummer and inconvenience than anything else. (Thankfully my wife has a computer too, which is what I used to blog today.)
Anyway, that puts life in perspective as Holy Week fast approaches.
The other piece that confronts me today as I think about this, is that this is the first year where I am not planning anything for worship or leading in some capacity in worship during Holy Week in nearly 15 years. It’s a strange feeling for me. For over half of my life, I have either led in worship at least once during Holy Week and/or provided some kind of music or music leadership. Not this year. What does that mean for me?
What does this jumbled mess mean for me- the death of a computer and the change of role and absence of leadership in worship?
What I appreciate about Holy Week most is that in one week, we are most obviously challenged, confronted and led into the realities of life, death, and resurrection. (Interesting images upon the death of a computer- and the privilege that comes along with having one but also its necessity for work .)
We experience the joy and triumph as we shout “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday. Perhaps you have had a moment in life where you were the most excited and just overjoyed in community? I think about these images for myself a lot when thinking about Palm Sunday. For those of you experiencing a graduation or commencement this year, maybe that’s the sort of celebration and excitement.
As the week goes on, the mood turns somber. Maundy Thursday calls us to remember Jesus’ love for us, the reasons for the sacrament of Holy Communion, and even our human response to fear and challenge being one of fighting or fleeing, rather than wondering what God might be up to. This week gives new meaning to the question of, “What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself?”
On Good Friday, we see ourselves as participants (good, bad, and ugly) in the darkest section of our faith and belief. We are confronted with humanity in a way that we only face in worship really on Ash Wednesday and at the occasional funeral. It’s also the day where many theological questions are most easily pondered about what one thinks about atonement. For me, I just hate the word “Good” before Friday. Maybe it’s connected with the way God reverses meaning through turning an instrument of heinous death into one of love, life, and hope. What do you think?
Holy Saturday or Easter Vigil is a day of quiet and preparation usually.
Then we move to Easter morning. My favorite worship service of the year is the Easter Sunrise service. Maybe its just because I am such a morning person, that I actually look forward to getting up at about 4 or 4:30am in the morning on Easter. But every year I love being up to worship, lead worship, and greet the morning and day. Moving through the stories that are often included in the Easter Vigil service we hear of God’s work of creation and salvation and move from the empty tomb to the Good News of the Resurrection. (My favorite Easter mornings though usually involve a baptism or two. I admit, I am biased. I was baptized on Easter too, and believe that the season is a great time to remember the new life and hope for the resurrection and their connections.)
The rest of the day and the season is one of celebration. Just because it’s celebratory, doesn’t mean the questions cease though. Just consider what the Disciple Thomas says and asks after the Resurrection.
So what does this all mean for me? To be honest, I am not sure. I am planning on sharing a post on each of these major days during Holy Week with a bit of my own reflection further. More importantly, I will give more room to all of these questions and perhaps a few others.
How about you, what questions come to mind as Holy Week is fast approaching?