Holy Week, the week leading up to the Great Feast of Easter is, as the name suggests, the holiest week in the Christian week. It is the week in which all the major themes of the Christian life come together . We are faced, once again, with Christ's great acts of love and service and our conflicting desires to follow Jesus and to scorn him. We are faced with the world's capacity to do wrong and betray one another. Above all, we are astounded by God's, by Christ's, and by our own, infinite capacity to love.
Holy Week, is, above all, a drama. In Holy Week the drama of the liturgy speaks so much more fully and deeply than any of the words. On Sunday we begin by waving palm branches and singing with gusto. But the tone changes as the service journeys on towards the cross. On Thursday we somewhat sheepishly wash feet before revisiting the tension, the drama, the great sadness, and the great love of the last supper. Thursday night we leave the darkened and emptied sanctuary in silence as we re-enact how after the arrest, the disciples dispersed into the night in fear. Friday, we come back to that quiet and emptied sanctuary to remember Jesus' suffering on the cross. Friday, we come to the altar rail and kneel - not to receive communion - but simply to pray at the foot of the cross. Words fail.
Saturday, we wait. Saturday, we do what we as humans have so much difficulty doing. We turn things over to God and trust in God's power and grace and love.
Sunday, Sunday we are astonished and overcome. We remember again that God can do what for us is impossible. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! We begin a whole new journey - our journey as followers of Christ, as followers of the Way.
The Christian life is, first and foremost, a journey. It is a journey of following, in our time and place, Christ's path of love and service. It is a journey we share with one another. It is a journey with the constant presence of our Triune God. It is a journey, like Christ's, that will not be without suffering. But, it is a journey that will always and everywhere be infused by love. For love is the beginning and the end of all things. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.