I’m getting married in 32 days!
Because of this, my life has been incredibly busy recently (if you can’t tell by my lack of recent blogging!). Tonight we have our engagement photo shoot. We’ve been working on sending out invitations, updating our registry, tweaking our wedding website, and so on. And it’s not only wedding planning that has made life busy; other things have too. For example, I’m conducting a wedding on Saturday, and I’ve been really busy at work (church) recently getting ready for Easter Sunday…
Oh, that’s right. Easter. This is Holy Week. While not everyone is getting ready for a wedding next month, I’m sure I’m not the only one with a hectic, busy schedule. And in the midst of our busyness, it’s easy to lose sight of what this week is all about.
I’ve thought for awhile that this past Sunday – Palm Sunday – is the hardest day to be a minister. We ministers are expected to try to cram the most important week in history into a one or two hour worship service. At my church, we sang “Hosanna” to children waving palm branches, we took the Lord’s Supper, and we read and sang about the cross. We got as close as possible, but it’s just not feasible to squeeze the events of this week into one worship service.
Because it’s not possible for church to take care of this for you, it’s incredibly important to do this on your own. If all you do is attend church on Palm Sunday and then again on Easter, you miss so much of what is crucially important about the Christian faith.
So in light of this, I have a challenge for you, the faithful readers of my blog. This week, take some time each day to ponder the events of this week. In addition, take some time each day to read about what happened. I’d recommend dividing it up into daily readings, because this allows the timeline of the events to make more sense. This way it seems more real (because it really happened!) than just reading a story. To help this timeline come to life, check out this visualization from Bible Gateway (note: this timeline and the way I’ve divided the events below are not an exact representation of when everything happened – some of the events are unclear as to exactly when they took place).
Try this. Today, read Matthew 21:1-11 to see what happened on Palm Sunday. Tomorrow (on Wednesday), read Matthew 26:1-16, about Judas agreeing to betray Jesus. On Thursday, read Matthew 26:17-68, about the Last Supper, Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His arrest. On Friday, read Matthew 27:1-61, about Jesus appearing before Pilate and the crucifixion. On Saturday, read Matthew 27:62-66, about the reaction to his crucifixion. And on Saturday night, in preparation for Easter Sunday, read Matthew 28.
We’re all busy. But amid our busy lives, let’s actually allow this to be a Holy Week.
I can’t help but also encourage folks to take advantage of the various Holy Week services that different churches offer. Not every church offers every service, but certainly try to track down a church with a Maundy Thursday service and a Good Friday service. Sometimes you might have to church hop to do this (my church only offers a Maundy Thursday service) but there is something powerful in attending these. In doing so, we are living out the ups and downs of Holy Week, making Easter Sunday all the more joyus and triumphant!
Idk how I missed this blog but just now read it and love it. Wish I had seen it that week to do the readings. I still can though! Great challenge to us busy Christians.