Holy Week begins this weekend on Palm Sunday, March 20. It is the week that Christians all over the world remember the last week of Jesus’ life before his death. It is often called Passion Week because passion comes from the Latin word for “suffering” and Jesus suffered during his last week. Our passion is that for which we are willing to suffer. Jesus’ passion then is us, because he suffered for us.
All through Lent, Circle of Hope has been asking how our suffering makes a difference. Holy Week is the climax of our extended meditation. It’s an opportunity to move with Jesus through his passion to nurture our own. Here are a few ways to take advantage.
1) Palm Sunday is the kick off. Each of our locations have great ways to begin the story at our Sunday Meetings. Check out info about the Sunday Meeting here.
2) Both of our Daily Prayer blogs (Wind and Water) will have opportunities for you to engage with the story from wherever you are. Moving with Jesus toward death and resurrection does not require us to leave our houses. If it doesn’t work for you and your family to be out and about every night, don’t count yourself out!
3) Some of the difficulty of showing up at our daily gatherings can be useful as a symbol of solidarity. Each congregation is playing a role in leading us during the week at our 7pm observances. I have heard some great stuff about how they will help us move with Jesus (even more details here).
- March 21, Monday: Witness Jesus clearing the temple Meet at 7pm at Temple University’s Bell Tower (on Pollett Walk near 12th and Berks)
- March 22, Tuesday: Hear the teaching that incited the powers to kill Jesus Meet at 7pm at 17th and JFK (The Comcast Center)
- March 23, Wednesday: Touch the Savior who is about to touch the world Meet at 7pm at 3800 Marlton Pike
- March 24, Maundy Thursday: Share the Lord’s last meal with his disciples Meet at 7pm at 1125 S. Broad St. RSVP here
- March 25, Good Friday: Endure the way of the cross with the Crucified One 12-3 pm at each of our four locations
- March 26, Holy Saturday: Wait with Jesus In the grave Wait, rest, no gathering.
- Resurrection is the ending of course, and you’ll hear more about that next week, but rising early for our 6:30am celebration on Lemon Hill in Philly is well worth planning for.
It’s all an opportunity
- It’s an opportunity to finish strong. Rod wrote about this earlier in the week. It doesn’t matter how well or poorly you think you “did” Lent. It’s fine if this is the first time you’re hearing about it, or focusing enough to consider it for yourself. That’s okay! Holy Week is a great time to engage. We get into Jesus’ story and consider how it impacts us.
- It’s an opportunity to be with radical Christians. Whether you are at the meetings all over the Philly metro or participating with your family and friends from across town by using the Daily Prayer, you are part of a group of people who take themselves and Jesus seriously. We are deep. And observing this week with some form of intention is a deepening thing to do. Being radical is about getting to the root of something. Jesus is the root, and we’re working down to the deep stuff with him.
- It’s an opportunity to do something different. Getting out of our comfort zones is often a key ingredient in transformation. Taking yourself seriously, taking your faith seriously, or exploring either of those things might not be in your wheel house. Praying every day, maybe even with a group of people from your neighborhood, might not be your typical practice. Showing up all over the Philly metro at the Holy Week observances requires us to be somewhere different and do something different. All of these unusual activities can get us off kilter in a good way. In new spaces we are often more open to see what God is doing.
May God bless you in this special week however you are able to participate.