Next to Pentecost, Holy Week is my favorite date on the liturgical calendar. Pentecost – the sending of the Spirit of God into our hearts – was why Jesus came in the first place, but Holy Week was necessary before Pentecost could take place.
What many people don’t realize is that what happens during Holy Week is a two way reconciliation. Paul wrote:
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2Co 5:18-20 NRS)
In Christ, we are reconciled to God and also to each other. That is what I love most about Holy Week!
I had the privileged to take part in every service this week at my Church. On Wednesday night, I had the honor of being the “odd” reader for the Stations of the Cross (My rector said I was especially qualified – since indeed – I am odd!) In addition, it means I read the story behind the “odd” stations of the cross and my friend read the stories of the “even” stations. As I stood in the midst of the priests and the congregation gathered around each station, I looked out at them. There I saw the followers of Jesus starring back at me. They were my friends and they were Jesus’ friends too. Together we are his body – his hands and his feet – and we are called to serve him (and in doing so care for others!) with all that we are and all that we have.
We had gathered not just to remember Jesus’ death, but to remember why we are together. And that is to do the work of Christ – to be his hands and feet. We each have different ministries, but we serve the same Lord. It was overwhelming to me to look into their faces for we have been eternally joined together. This is my favorite thing about Holy Week.
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