Holy Week is a season for reflection and soul-searching, a week to re-trace the steps of Jesus towards the cross and to contemplate the depth of God’s love. During this week, Christ followers from all around the world will be focused once again on the events that led to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
The word “holy” is a healthy and meaningful word, though one of the most misunderstood terms in the English language. It does not nearly suggest “spiritual superiority” or “moral perfection.” The word “holy” refers to people or things set apart for specific, and usually religious, purpose. In the New Testament the Greek word for holy is “hagios” which means “different,” and it is most often used to underscore practices and lifestyles that correlate to a standard different than the cultural norm.
Why is observing Holy Week important to our preparation for Easter? Here’s a bit of history: The traditional observance of Holy Week seems to have originated in the Christian East, emerging out of the practice of pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Each day of Holy Week is important but at least five days call for specific reflection. Palm Sunday is a day to revisit the royal welcome extended to Jesus by the curious crowd as he entered Jerusalem.
On Maundy Thursday believers recall the occasion when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples as he gave them a new mandate to love and serve. Good Friday is a day to review the passion and suffering of Christ on the cross. Holy Saturday (or Easter Even) commemorates the day that Jesus lay in the tomb. And Resurrection Sunday, or Easter, is a festive day to celebrate and proclaim that “Christ is risen; He is risen indeed.”
This year as we navigate through each day of Holy Week, here are few suggestions
Read the gospel account in John 12-20. • Listen to the conflicting voices in the crowd • Meditate on the cruel injustice of the cross. • Imagine the passion of Christ’s suffering. • Think on the hopelessness felt by his disciples. • Celebrate the hope of the resurrection. • Renew your commitment to faithfully follow Jesus.
The introspective prayer recorded in Psalm 139:23-24 is extremely relevant and probing during Holy Week:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
This year, as we read the biblical account with fresh eyes, and listen to the passion of Christ with fresh ears, it may seem as though we are encountering the story for the very first time. An intentional and focused journey through Holy Week may deepen our faith and inspire us to follow Jesus with unrelenting resolve.
Please join the Holy Week reflections at from Holy Monday to Good Friday
2pm Brackley Methodist Church 630pm Silverstone Methodist Church
love and prayers Revd Sara