Lent & Advent

Holy Week Invitation

Allison Tanner

April 16, 2019

During Holy week, we remember the powerful and profound events that shape our faith – from the festive parade of Palms to the empty tomb and resurrection appearances, from Jesus’ teachings of challenge to his turning the tables in the temple, from his public anointing with costly perfume to a final meal in the upper room, from the betrayal, denial and abandonment of his disciples, to the women who faithfully stayed at the foot of the cross, from Gethsemane to Calvary – we are invited to remember.

And more than just remember, we are invited to enter the story anew, to situate ourselves within it once again, and ask ourselves how the realities of Holy Week continue to be manifest in our lives and our world.

Where in our lives do we experience places of pain and suffering that have devastating consequences? Where do we long for new life and healing and hope? Where in our country and our world, do we see cruelty and corruption, power grabs and persecution? Where do the innocents continue to suffer and die at the hands of those in power? And where we see glimpses of hope, redemption, healing, new life, surprise endings and miracles of unexpected joy? 

As another Holy Week unfolds, and we live once again through these sacred seven days, here are some invitations for our serious consideration:

  • Palm Sunday invites us to honor the humble in our midst, rather than those with power, prestige or the spotlight
  • Turning the tables in the temple invites us to call out when people make a mockery of that which God deems sacred
  • Jesus’ teachings invite us to prioritize God over the Caesars of our world that stake their claim on us, to commit ourselves to a covenant of love over greed, ego and desire, and to embrace extravagant generosity
  • Jesus’ anointing invites us to honor those who bear witness to God in our midst, despite public attempts to shame us, confuse us, misdirect us
  • The Last Supper invites us to remember Jesus’ words and actions in such a way that they shape our own
  • Good Friday invites us to trust God not just with our lives, but with our deaths – and when we, like Jesus’ disciples, fail to do this, we are invited to trust that God’s love and forgiveness is sufficient for even us
  • Easter Sunday invites us to allow the power of the resurrection to transform us once again – transform our fears to joy, our isolation to community, our divisions to unity, our hatred to love

As we journey together through Holy Week, we are invited to see the pain and suffering all around us, and allow God to wow us with the miracles of resurrection once again. May we be attentive to lessons God has in store for us this week.