Holy Week Explained and Celebrated
As we move through the church year, we are getting closer to Easter. The next step along the way is Holy Week. When we think of Christianity as a journey, the events of Holy Week are tremendously important, as we imagine Jesus’ journey through suffering to glory, and as we reflect on our own journeys.
As the gathering clouds of conflict hover, Jesus comes with his disciples into Jerusalem, and the people shout hosannas! Does this mean he is the Messiah, come to save the people from Rome? No, the hint here is that he arrives on a donkey rather than in a chariot. Whatever people expect, the reality will be ……
Now we come to a time of mystery and gathering gloom. Jesus gathers with his disciples in an upper room and they celebrate a simple meal together, their last meal together. Soon they will go to the Garden of Gethsemane and the soldiers of Rome will come to arrest him and the journey takes another turn…….
On Maundy Thursday, many Christians gather for a Service of Tenebrae. At St. John’s this involves a quiet, meditative soup supper focused around the Gospel texts of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus and a re-enactment of that last meal that Jesus had with his followers. We join Christians who have done this simple thing together for two thousand years. A quiet meal together, reflecting on what is next…
Join us for this simple but holy event — 6:30 pm, Thursday, April 5
Now we commemorate the worst day in this story. The disciples are truly confused. Jesus has been arrested and appeared before Pilate, who gave him up to the local authorities. Jesus of Nazareth is crucified on a cross, with two criminals — a disastrous and ignominious end. Is there no hope? The disciples thought that he would be Messiah, Saviour, but instead, he is dead and buried. It seems as though all is lost. That sense of lost hope, lost future is real in our lives on many occasions. On Good Friday we remember or re-imagine Jesus’s death and we weep at the loss — all the losses and this most important loss.
The body is taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb. The disciples retreat to their upper room in shock and grief.
The sanctuary at St. John’s will be open from 12 noon to 2 pm, with an opportunity for meditation.
Join us for Easter Sunday!
The day of resurrection, of joy, of recognition of this tremendously important gift we have been given! New life! Eternal life! Hallelujah, Christ is Risen.