Written by Rev. Becky Brown
The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is one of my favorite weeks of the church year. Maybe its because I already just love church, and love worshipping with beloved friends in Christ more than once a week. I love the rhythm of walking each day with Jesus as he spent his last few days in Jerusalem with the disciples and his closest friends. So much of our theology and the groundwork for our faith is laid in these seven days. Holy week is a deeply spiritual time, and I find myself renewed again and again as I work with other staff to create meaningful, cohesive, and beautiful expressions of our common faith. The week prepares me for Easter. You can’t have a resurrection without a death.
Our holy week this year has been and will be spent at home. I lament the fact that we will not be together in worship. Our staff has worked very hard to deliver meaningful and creative worship experiences that everyone can participate in through the miracle of videos on the internet. I feel a sense of liturgical whiplash. All of the services that were filmed (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter) were filmed several days before. We filmed parts of Easter Sunday on Holy Wednesday, Good Friday filming was finished up later that day, and the Maundy Thursday service was completed a full week before. All this is necessary for editing and processing so that hundreds of us can partake in the worship offerings on these high holy days. All the back and forth leaves me in a holy tornado. It’s hard enough to remember what day it is already!
Yet, even in this time of pandemic, the story of Jesus begs to be told. We all need to hear and be reminded of the story of Jesus’ last week. We need to remember why we celebrate Holy Communion in the first place. We need to remember why Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. We need to remember that Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and sentenced to death. We need to remember the defeat and loss the disciples, friends and family felt at Jesus was laid to rest in the tomb. And, we need to celebrate Easter because signs of Resurrection are all around us.
Holy Week at home is different, but it is still pregnant with meaning and theological reflection. Andy and I will be home with our children and able to be more engaged with them. Leading worship is one of my greatest joys, but it comes a cost. All week long, I’ve worked through Ms. Carolyn’s amazing packets. The children and I have talked every day about the significance of Holy Week. We’ve read the Bible and played a Holy Week matching game. Caroline made the discovery that Jesus must have been a Star Wars Jedi because the robes are so similar. She hasn’t seen me in a robe in a while, but when she does, maybe she’ll think I’m a Jedi, too. I hope she thinks I look like Jesus, though. That’s the reflection I hope to convey, above all else. So, I hope you’ll join us for these last few days of Holy Week, as we worship online through YouTube. I’m confident that Jesus will meet us, right where we are. Miss you all, and can’t wait until day when we can be in the same room again!