Holy Week is an annual period when Christians around the world focus on the events that led up to Christ’s death and eventual resurrection. It is derived from the Via Dolorosa (Latin for the “sorrowful way” or “way of suffering”), a path through the Old City part of Jerusalem. Via Dolorosa symbolizes the path Jesus walked to the cross. While this is a week full of emotional ups and downs, it is also crucial to the life of Christ and to the path of people following Christ. Whether you have 2 year olds or 102 year olds, there are parts of this story that can be shared.
Holy Week – a quick overview
Read these with your family or a friend and talk about each day this week:
Palm Sunday – As Jesus entered Jerusalem, a crowd of people formed. They pulled palms off of the trees and waved them – “Hosanna, Hosanna!” which means “save us.” Sometimes we need God’s help, and we can ask God when that happens. Prayer: God help us when we don’t know which way to go. Guide us throughout Holy Week as we learn and grow in faith. Amen.
- Palm Sunday at Holmeswood – Sanctuary reopened and a pancake brunch followed!
Holy Monday – Jesus shows emotions. In the temple, Jesus clears out the people buying and selling things; Jesus is really angry. (Matthew 21:12-13) Then, as Jesus came near the city he wept over it; Jesus was very sad. (Luke 19:41) Jesus felt lots of emotions just like we do sometimes. It is okay to feel happy or sad, angry or confused. Prayer: God, please be near us no matter how we feel. Help us to remember you are always with us. Amen.
Holy Tuesday – Jesus reminded his disciples that he was not going to be with them on Earth much longer. “The light is with you a little while longer. Walk while you still have the light, so the darkness does not overtake you.” John 12:35 Prayer: God help us to enjoy the people we love while we have them with us. Help us to remember that each day is a gift. Amen.
Holy Wednesday – We do not really know what Jesus did on this day because The Bible is pretty quiet about it. “After Jesus had said this, we departed and hid from his disciples.” John 12:36b What do you think Jesus did at this time? Did he spend time in quiet prayer with God? Silence is important when we are trying to listen and to concentrate. Prayer: God, help me to build a habit of silence, practicing prayer with you. Help me to listen more. Amen.
Maundy Thursday – This is the “maundy” or “mandate/promise” that Jesus gave his disciples around the dinner table. He says, “A new commandment I give you – love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) It is also the spot where our practice of Communion began, which we offer every month at church. Perhaps my favorite part of this story is THE BREAD. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet as an act of serving them. Then, he took the warm, fresh dinner bread, broke it and shared it with his beloved team. “Take; this is my body.” He did the same with the wine – “Take; this is my blood.” These symbols show how Jesus gave all of himself for others, just like us. Prayer: Jesus, what were you thinking about in that upper room at dinner time? How were you feeling? Help me to imagine the love you must have had that night and the love you still have for all of us today. Amen.
- Thursday, April 14 at 6:00pm Maundy Thursday Soup Dinner, Handwashing,and Communion Service in Fellowship Hall
Good Friday – There is goodness in Christ’s love for us, yet this is certainly not a “good” Friday. In fact, it is really sad. The light of Christ has gone out, and the temple curtain is torn. God’s Son has died, and we try to make sense of this horrible event. Sometimes it is okay to sit with sadness and darkness for a little while; it reminds us of how important Christ’s Light is in the world and in our own lives. Prayer: God, this day called Good Friday was not good at all. It is very sad. We know that, sometimes, it is good to work through our sadness to help understand part of life in a different way. We depend on you for the Light, and we depend on each other to share in this Light. Be near us in our sadness. Amen.
- Friday, April 15 at 6:00pm Good Friday Service in the Sanctuary
Holy Saturday – Setting the Alarm. Do you have a home security alarm for your space? Have you ever set an alarm on your phone or clock to wake up on time? Holy Saturday is kind of like an alarm – the guards and soldiers went to Jesus’ tomb to make sure it was sealed and locked, kind of like a security alarm for your home. And we know that the next day brings women to the tomb very early in the morning, kind of like if they set an alarm to be sure and wake up. What are alarms for? To be ready, pay attention, stay secure. The same is true for Holy Saturday – we need to be ready, pay attention and stay secure because something big is coming, something amazing is soon to happen. Prayer: God, today we wait and wonder. We set an alarm to be aware that something big is happening tomorrow. As we wait, we pay attention to things around and inside of us. Give us wisdom in this time of waiting, as well as hope in our hearts. Amen.
- Saturday, April 16 at 2:00pm Easter Egg Hunt
Easter – Jesus is Risen!
Sunday, April 17 at 7:00am Easter Sunrise Service at Mt. Moriah
Sunday, April 17 at 10:15am Easter Worship Service in the Sanctuary
- NYC Mission Fundraiser will continue – Chris Cakes Pancake Mixes and Breakfast Boxes. (Thank you for your generosity in purchasing yesterday!)
May we continue to walk in Christ’s Light!