As the journey of Lent unfolds, we walk closer to the events of Holy Week, which was called “The Great Week” in the fourth century. It is the week, which brings into focus the steadfast love of God and the solidarity of the ways of Jesus. It moves from shouts of joy on Palm Sunday, to the cries of despair on Good Friday, to the silence of Holy Saturday, and to the surprise of Easter morning.
When we heard that Jesus would be born and his name would be “Emmanuel,” or “God is with us,” we did not anticipate how the events of Holy Week would reveal the depths of his name’s meaning. God is with us on the mountaintop and in the valley! Even when we cannot see the light, it emerges from the darkness, surprising us yet again.
We are thankful that this is a shared journey! We do not have to face the events of Holy Week alone. It was about a year ago when the pandemic of Covid-19 started altering our gatherings. In the last year, the congregation has remained connected, reaching out to one another and sharing this journey.
As we enter Holy Week, we are thankful for one another, for this week is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. We find Mary anointing and Judas betraying, Peter denying and Pilate avoiding. Jesus is washing feet, embracing suffering, and standing alone, so that we never have to stand alone.
We will worship on Palm Sunday, both in-person and over livestream, connected by our “Hosannas.” We will have a gathering on Maundy Thursday on Zoom, celebrating the bread and cup as widely as we can. On Good Friday, we will worship in the sanctuary and virtually, facing the darkness together, which precedes the Light of the World on Easter.
We are grateful for the events of Holy Week, as they usher us again into God’s steadfast love. We are also thankful for each step we take, transitioning from being apart to gathering again! We will remain cautious, as we give thanks for sharing this journey with one another!