Why I Like Holy Week
With the kind of winter we are STILL experiencing, there are a lot of good reasons
to look ahead to spring. For many of us, the onset of spring is marked and highlighted by the celebration of the feast of Easter. There are many outward signs that make Easter so joyful to so many and we have seen them for the last few weeks in our grocery stores and pharmacies – chocolate eggs, jelly beans, peeps, special Easter candies and, of course, those omnipresent bunnies!
There are many reading this (as well as one writing this!) for whom the joy of
Easter flows from the inextricable link between faith in the Resurrection of Jesus and all of the feasting and celebration attached to this special day on our calendar! Those of us who say we believe in Jesus experience a profound connection between Easter and HOPE as well as a sense of continuity and fulfillment between the life we live and that life that will one day come!
So, to all of you reading this column for whom the feast of Easter holds a special
meaning…I wish you abounding Easter joy! Likewise, I hope that everyone reading this, whatever your religious perspective might be, enjoys the freshness and the beauties of spring and those special feelings that this glorious season engenders….
But before we go on to Easter and the full blossoming of a new season, I want to
make note of the fact that NEXT WEEK those of us who call ourselves Christians
will commemorate that which goes by the rather straightforward name HOLY WEEK. Throughout the world and here locally, we remember the final days in the life of Jesus – Palm Sunday, Maundy (Holy) Thursday, Good Friday and that unique, often overlooked day, Holy Saturday.
I am writing to suggest that these days are unique opportunities for those connected in any way to the Christian heritage to find ourselves some quiet and to give some serious thought to what Jesus stood for and to consider why someone who went about doing so much good ended up getting crucified for it. It is a time to simply take time away from the ordinary rush of work and responsibility to contemplate that which is most important in life and what we are going to do and what our priorities will be in this limited time we have here on this earth. These
days and days such as Passover and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and periods of ‘sacred time’ in the great religious approaches found in God’s big world are so helpful to those who connect in any way with these traditions. They provide a way of looking at the world and the great mysteries of life in which all human beings share.
For those who claim Christianity as our heritage, these days of Holy Week are more than just ordinary days – and, in my view, they should not be treated as such. As one who is most pleased to say that I want to follow the teachings of Jesus, I look to Holy Week as a time to find a way to slow down and to contemplate those things that really matter. For those of you reading this who seek to follow Jesus, I wish you a peaceful, meaningful and special Holy Week, one that will prepare you for the joyous outburst of Easter!
AND.. to everyone reading this, whatever your perspective – I wish you times of silence, profundity and peace, times in which you draw ever closer to that which brings us all ultimate purpose and meaning! And I ask that, as I prepare to celebrate Holy Week and Easter, you wish and pray for me the same….Thanks!