Walking the Way

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Holy Week has begun.

We begin with palms and songs. Shouts of joy. Hosanna in the highest!

And we pray. Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection.

That we may walk, that we may share, that we may participate.

Yes, participate. The liturgies of Holy Week invite us to participate, not simply to sit in the audience, watching this moving holy drama unfold in front of us, asking nothing of us. We are asked to engage in thought, word, and deed.

We are invited to be present as Jesus gives us a new commandment on Maundy Thursday, to wash each other’s feat in an act of servanthood, humility, and love, and to watch and pray as we await the starkness of Good Friday. We gather on Good Friday to hear the account of the crucifixion. Some churches will invite those gathered to venerate the cross. We will all shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” remembering that we, too, killed Jesus.

On Holy Saturday, we will wait with all creation, until that precious, life-giving moment when we participate in the resurrection.

To walk the way of the cross and to share in Christ’s resurrection means we are present, with all the messiness of our lives, as well. Those who gathered with Jesus, who walked with him, were joyful and grief-stricken, hopeful and hopeless, in love with their faith and disappointed by it. They were, like us, very human, and all of that humanity walks with us.

The wisdom of thousands of years of the Christian faithful is that to share in the fabulousness of Easter, we also have to walk through Holy Week. The walk is not easy or pleasant. At times the walk is deeply uncomfortable and unsettling. But the journey through Holy Week is life-changing. Each step matters.

Jesus walks with us, journeys with us, and asks for our company.

May we have the courage and faith to walk with him on this Holy Week.

Holy Week

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