The most sacred week of the Christian year is almost upon us. Recently, I learned that the first Christians saw all of Holy Week as one long worship service, so no benediction was given, no postlude played, and no words spoken as worshippers left the sanctuary from Palm Sunday all the way until Easter morning. This makes sense to me because each day's liturgy builds upon the next, advancing the passion narrative like an act in a play. And in the same way the end of a play cannot be understood unless all the prior acts are seen, the dramatic arc of Holy Week is hard to appreciate unless we're there to experience it through worship. Otherwise, we jump straight from the high of a Palm Procession to the high of Easter Morning, and the surprise of resurrection is lost on us. To truly experience the miracle of resurrection, first, we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Because it is only by darkness we can recognize light, by grief we can experience the fullness of joy, and by the tomb we can appreciate the gift of life.
So I invite you, this Holy Week, to experience the miracle of resurrection for yourself by participating in the entire story of Jesus' last week. Through waving of palms, the breaking of bread, the washing of feet, and the stations of the cross, we take on up our cross and participate firsthand the miracle of resurrection.