“Commit to Renewal: In the Moments” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell
I hope this week finds you in the deeply reflective space that Holy Week calls us all to. This is the holiest week for those of us that follow Christ and it calls us to be in community to be present to each other, to mourn together, and to eventually rejoice together. We hope that you will join us for our Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection services.
This week is one that is emotionally taxing for us. The highs and lows of this week are great and many. This week calls us to really be present in the moments we share and to do so together in community. The point of Holy Week is to live it with Jesus. Feel the love of dinner with friends. Feel the pain of betrayal. Grieve the loss of life. And then after it all rejoice in the hope and the unexpected renewal and resurrection.
Our instincts are to not be a part of it until it feels good again. To avoid the painful parts and fly over holy week like a bird, watching from above. Keeping away from the messiness of life. But I invite you into the messiness. Into that which makes us feel deeply; pain, love, loss, hope. And let’s get into it together. Below is the text from our Maundy Thursday service to pull you into this holy time.
“26 After singing songs of praise, they walked out to the Mount of Olives.
As they were walking 27 Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for scripture says, I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I have been raised, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.”
29 Peter said to Jesus, “Even though everyone may fall away, I will not.”
30 Jesus said to him, “The truth is, this very night before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
31 But Peter said vehemently, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not disown you!” All the other disciples said the same thing.” (Mark 14:26-31)
Friends, what are you saying to yourself to avoid feeling the pain and sadness of this week? Have you reminded yourself that you are not alone? Even the disciples as they professed their false commitment to Jesus, did so in community. That isn’t to remind us that we are all sinful in our confessions, but to remind us that when we mess up, when we fall short of living into Jesus’s expectation of us, we have people who understand and have traveled that road too.
This week, we will all be those that say “Surely not I.” We will all be the women who weep at the cross and those who proclaim the empty tomb. And because we are so loved, we will also be the hearers and bearers of the good news of the risen Christ.
A quick prayer for your week: Just take a deep breath, friends; The Resurrection is near.