I was asked a couple of days ago how I was doing. It’s Holy Week – the busiest week of the year for a pastor and a church. There are many worship services and other activities going on this week. It’s easy to loose track of what day it is and what is happening – let alone figure out what to say at each service.
But my answer was, and is, that Holy Week is my favorite week of the year. I love Holy Week for many reasons.
I love Holy Week because it is expresses this central core of Christianity – Life, Death, and Resurrection. There’s no way to avoid it. I know that many Christians will have gone to the Palm Sunday service where they sing Hosanna and wave palms as Jesus enters Jerusalem triumphantly and then skip everything until Easter morning when they will hear about the resurrected Jesus.
But gosh – they are missing out on some of the most important parts of this week. Maundy Thursday with it’s command to serve, to do communion, to love one another. Good Friday with it’s confrontation with death. Easter Vigil with the story of God’s relationship with creation from the beginning to the resurrection.
Each of these days is rich and full. Their messages force us to deal with unpleasant realities and things we would rather not deal with. But dealing with them is important.
Yesterday I was invited to do a presentation on Dachau concentration camp – a place I had visited while I lived in Europe a few years back. This was in a school. And it was Maundy Thursday. What a fitting day to do a presentation on such an unpleasant and disturbing topic. Again, we are forced to deal with the reality of hatred, fear, and death.
These things roam in our world, do we see them for what they are or are we too afraid to identify them, to speak up because it wouldn’t be nice.
This Good Friday, I challenge you to see the reality of fear, hatred, and death that is around us. Not to run from them, but to look at them in the eye. To see what they are really about. And to proclaim Good News in spite of them anyway.