I'll be honest. I don't like the convergence of Spring Break and Holy Week. It's distracting. The depth of Holy Week, the re-telling of a remarkable story, wants our attention. So does Spring Break. If you have kids at home, or in school, then life indeed swirls around that school schedule. And Spring Break means just that--a chance to "take a break." Maybe a road trip. Time to rest at home. It feels like the weeks are at odds, and this is one of those years when they coincide--or, more realistically, they collide.
And here's some more honesty: for me, Holy Week always feels like a kind of collision waiting to happen. On Palm Sunday we start telling the story with a parade and a bit of foolishness--but it goes south fast. And it keeps going that direction until we run into the brick wall of a tomb and death sentences and people (us?) at our very worst. Do we want that kind of Week? And when, every single day, I open up the newspaper and the opinion blogs and see what our worst looks like--well, who really wants to be reminded of that with a week of liturgy and church going that seems so hard to make sense of? Who wouldn't want a break?
Indeed. But that's what this week is for: to unsettle us with some truth from our own lives. And that's good. I'm not interested in a "Holy" week, but a Good, Honest, Truthful one. That's what I want this week. That's why I'll go to church. And I hope you will to. If you're traveling, surprise yourself (and your family!) with a visit to some other church on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. If you're here at home, then take advantage of these absolutely unique, one of a kind liturgies. If you and your kids need a Good Break from Spring Break, come on Maundy Thursday. Honestly, it's such an active, visual, involving service--with a meal!--that I think it's perfect for kids. And if you yourself need to put to rest some haunting brokenness, then Good Friday is your day in this week. Of course Easter Day is what it is--bringing our Holy Break Week to some remarkable end. As Lucille Clifton said, "and we will lace the jungle on and step out beautiful as birds." Yes, we will--because we need to.