Tomorrow it begins…the week we Christians call Holy Week. It is the heart of the Christian year and the center of our faith.The week begins with Palm Sunday also called Passion Sunday. The two names indicate that there are two themes to the day. We begin remembering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, but then the mood changes as we focus on Our Lord’s Passion, Christ’s work of redemption through the cross.
You will once again have the opportunity to hear the Passion story read from the Gospel of Matthew. (It will be posted by our 10:00 worship time tomorrow) If you choose to follow along you will find it in Matthew 26:14 — 27:66
When I arrived home after recording portions of the service, I once again found myself reading hymn texts. The words that struck me today were these from “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” — ‘When the woes of life o’er take me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy, never shall the cross forsake me; lo, it glows with peace and joy.’ [stanza 2] As the days of isolation continue for us there is a certain feeling of abandonment for me. I know that’s silly, but empty streets, closed shops, and no visitors is not my normal. It seems a heavy burden to carry and then I think, how dare I? I have a home, I do not live alone so there is companionship, we have food, and books and television and lots of social media connections. What of those who are alone? What of those with parents or other loved ones in the hospital or retirement facility that they cannot even visit with? It breaks my heart to think of them; I cannot begin to imagine the pain. And at this point there is still no light at the end of the tunnel, so how easily we can begin to think it…”hopes deceive and fears annoy.”
These are humbling times. We are learning what really matters most and I hope it is a lesson that makes us more grateful for what we do have, especially those we love. As we live through these days of isolation and physical distancing consider that this is the kind of burden that only the humble can carry, it just might break those who are too proud. Know that you are not alone, your pastor holds you in prayer and of course Jesus is with you always.
During this Holy Week, I invite you to reflect on the humility of Christ and that “never shall the cross forsake us”.
A Blessed Holy Week, dear Church,