Holy week is an experience that moves the heart far more than details rationalized in the mind. It is a time to put ourselves into the gospel stories as human imperfection, pathos, and resurrection unfold. It is a time for poetry—for expression of what we sense it means for our life, far more than explanation of how it all happened exactly. Because in the end, and the beginning of faith, the great promises of Holy Week are more than something special that happened to Jesus. They are real and revealed ever anew in the rhythms of our ordinary lives. The losses, the fears, the limits, the hopes, the healing, the unexpected revelations … from death to new life. Here is a poem I like, which captures the flow and invitation to our experience of Holy Week.
Holy is the week …
Holy, consecrated, belonging to God …
We move from hosannas to horror
with the predictable ease
of those who know not what they do.
Our hosannas sung,
our palms waved,
let us go with passion into this week.
It is a time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit.
It is a time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy.
It is time to greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One,
to lavishly break our alabaster
and pour perfume out for him
without counting the cost.
It is a time for preparation …
The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us.
The time to give thanks and drink of the cup is imminent.
Eat, drink, remember:
On this night of nights, each one must ask,
as we dip our bread in the wine,
“Is it I?”
And on that darkest of days, each of us must stand
beneath the tree
and watch the dying
if we are to be there
when the stone is rolled away.
The only road to Easter morning
is through the unrelenting shadows fo that Friday.
Only then will the alleluias be sung;
only then will the dancing begin.
Ann Weems, “Holy Week” from Kneeling in Jerusalem
Grace and Peace,