This Holy Week is different than any other we have encountered, at least in my relatively short lifetime. This is perhaps the hardest time in recent memory that we have had to figure out how to be the church, as Holy Week is the pinnacle of our Christian year.
It is interesting to me that this year I find, because of our unfortunate circumstances, we have given the ebb and flow of our liturgical year the true credit it is due. Instead of giving up minor vices like chocolate and soda, we have all been forced to understand the individual and communal sacrifice that Lent calls us to.
We now are faced with coming into Holy Week with all of the depth of emotion we have held over the past few weeks. For some of us, it could be incredibly easy to skip over Holy Week, because if there’s no physical gathering on Easter Sunday, what’s the point, right?
The point of Holy Week is that we have to walk through the anticipation, the final gathering of Jesus and his disciples, the pain, the anguish, the grief, and the silence, before we can wake up to joy and resurrection.
Normally, we have to work a bit harder to walk through Holy Week without skipping over the sorrow. This year, we’re right in the thick of it. I encourage you not to wallow, but also not to overlook the real sadness you may be feeling. Easter this year will not be the same, but nevertheless, Christ is still coming.
This year, Holy Week feels like we’re stuck in Holy Saturday. We’re stuck in the grief, the unknowing, the questioning of the in-between time. So much of life right now is uncertain, and yet, as people of faith we know that resurrection is coming.
If you look outside right now you’ll see hints of resurrection popping up all around. At camp the mayapples, redbuds, magnolias, daffodils, trillium, and other beautiful flowers are making their glorious debut. The beauty of living through Lent and Holy Week in the northern hemisphere is that we get to see death and decay turn into life by Easter Sunday.
I pray this week, if you have the chance, that you will go outside and take in the beauty that is God’s Creation. Look for signs of resurrection, and even if they are not quite visible, know that they are coming.
It may not feel like it, but remember that every Sunday, we are called to recognize who we are as resurrection people. It is the hope that grounds and sustains us as people of faith and followers of Christ.
Find comfort and joy in your family and community, even from afar, and take heart that in life and in death, we belong to God.
Rev. Molly DeWitt, Program Director