Holy Week is the annual opportunity to simply live your life in the light of Jesus’ story more than you usually do. We know more about this one week of Jesus’ life than any other part of his life. All of the gospel writers thought it was the most important part. All throughout March and February we’ve been turning away from death and toward life, Jesus’ life—a life that goes through death—the only life that goes through death. So let’s live that life with him. Let’s live the whole week with Jesus.
Start here on the Daily Prayer each morning. Every day will offer a way to experience the story, on your own and in community.
Today’s Bible reading
Read Luke 23:50-56
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
More thoughts for meditation
Here at the centre everything is still
Before the stir and movement of our grief
Which bears it’s pain with rhythm, ritual,
Beautiful useless gestures of relief.
So they anoint the skin that cannot feel
Soothing his ruined flesh with tender care,
Kissing the wounds they know they cannot heal,
With incense scenting only empty air.
He blesses every love that weeps and grieves
And makes our grief the pangs of a new birth.
The love that’s poured in silence at old graves
Renewing flowers, tending the bare earth,
Is never lost. In him all love is found
And sown with him, a seed in the rich ground.
Suggestions for action
It could be a restless day, full of preparation for a feast. It might be easier to be still this year since feasts are more subdued, but maybe then another sort of restlessness sets in. A restlessness of heart and mind, a bitter rejection of how things are. That could be appropriate—but not all day. Can you find the time to be still—body, mind and heart?
Ideas for being still:
Turn off your phone, still your scrolling thumbs
Read a spiritual book, sit down
Take a nap
Set a timer, close your eyes and breathe the Jesus Prayer until you lose track of how many times you’ve prayed it. Then try to stop wondering when the timer will be up.
Play a game with your family
Go on a leisurely stroll
Put off the things on your to-do list
Go to bed early
This is THE in-between. Wait for the dawn. In the morning the tomb will be empty. Join your congregation to celebrate at 6:30 (the sun rises at 6:39).