Holy Week Journey & Easter: It’s not a ditto

We are in the midst of the journey aren’t we?  We are once again walking the road with Jesus through the last week of his life concluding at the empty tomb.  Having had the privilege of travelling to the Holy Land on six different occasions, the sights of the events of Holy Week are there in my memory banks.  I recall the winding road from the Mount of Olives to the city of Jerusalem that may well have been the path taken on Palm Sunday. I recall the garden where prayer was offered and a decision finalized.  I recall stepping into the stone tomb and imagining that first Easter morning.  It is a road we walk every year and even if we’ve never been to the Holy Land, we imagine the events and picture them in our minds as we experience the messages of each day of this profound week through the worship services we attend.

Some would suggest there is a challenge in keeping it fresh.  I recall reading an article some years ago in a clergy magazine that addressed this issue and I still remember the writer’s line.  He said, “how do we keep Easter meaningful every year and not just have it be simply, ditto.”  I remember reading that and almost recoiling.  Ditto??  Ditto?  Really?  Preachers really struggle with this?  I mean I understand what he was saying on one level.  The message of Holy Week and ultimately Easter is the same message every year.  We read the same Scriptures, we rehearse the story with similar songs and similar phrasing.  BUT — oh my goodness — Easter a ditto!?  Never.

Easter — resurrection — is a message that changes everything.  It is not a static idea or an event bound only to the past.  It is new every morning.  Resurrection shouts to us every day informing us that the past is gone and the future is ripe with possibility.  Everything is new in every new moment.  Resurrection shouts the message that hope is real and that forgiveness is unequivocal.  Easter banners the future with possibility and closes the door on the idea that what has been will always be.  Easter is a moment by moment promise that anything can experience resurrection, death itself has been defeated and life is forever different because of that reality.

Easter a “ditto?”  Never!

Peace
Bill

P.S.

Some have asked me recently as I approach retirement if I am getting senior-itis!?  I’m not really.  There is still way too much to do between now and the end of June.  I am, however, beginning to finish some things up and one of those things is my DS Castings blog.  It has been a joy sharing my (often random) thoughts and my heart with you over these six years.  I hope some of it has encouraged and challenged you along the way.  May God continue to lead and bless us all as together we seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Thanks for reading.

 

Preparing for and Experiencing Holy Week

I used to talk often as a local church pastor about the need to go through all of Holy Week. Most of our churches or at least our communities have services for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Experiencing each of these days and the worship services that go with them are a “package deal!” My hope is that each of us will take time to be a part of this very special week in the life of our Christian Community.

Each of these days represent for us an important event and, more so, an important aspect of our faith. I hope you are looking forward to each of these services throughout these days. I trust that worship teams, pastors and the whole church body are preparing well to journey though these events together. May God lead us and bless us as we engage this very special time with our whole selves so that we might receive all that God has for us in them.

Peace,
Bill