Ways to Walk - Holy Week 2018
A couple of days from now, Palm Sunday will mark the beginning of Holy Week in the Christian tradition. There’s a quite a bit of competition for our time and attention during this particular week in 2018. First off, there’s March Madness, and the Loyola Ramblers (and Sister Jean) have been rolling! Secondly, in the Western Suburbs, Spring Break 2018 is officially underway. If you are travelling, enjoy! A break from the ordinary and time spent with friends and/or family can be a holy experience in its own special way. However, I strongly encourage you to find a way to remember the Gospel story, regardless of where you might be. Here are a few possibilities:
- If you’re in Chicagoland, we’ll have community worship services that highlight what Jesus did throughout Holy Week. Elmhurst CRC will host short services (20 minutes!) on Maundy Thursday at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. We’ll relive the events of the Upper Room and conclude with the Lord’s Supper. Our choir will lead Good Friday worship at 7 p.m. as the darkness descends. Then we’ll worship with great joy on Easter Sunday morning at 9 and 10:30 a.m.
- Each day of Holy Week at elmhurstcrc.org/easter and facebook, we’ll be sharing a Holy Week Bible reading, a short devotional, and a simple activity that you can do with a family. We share these especially for kids and with travelers in mind. The activities call for a small collection of local stones or shells that you can gather from wherever you might be.
- If you are away from home, do some research and find a church where you can be with the body of Christ especially for Good Friday and Easter. The Gospel is meant to be heard, received, and remembered in community.
- If none of the above are viable possibilities for you, simply open up the Bible and read. I’d recommend Luke 22 on Thursday, Luke 23 on Friday, and Luke 24 on Easter Sunday.
I’m going to share with you what I’ll be up to in this coming week. I don’t mention this because I’m a super Christian or because I’m urging you to be a super Christian. I mention this because I’m fundamentally selfish and keeping the traditional rhythms of Holy Week help turn my eyes away from myself and keep my feet following Jesus.
Monday: I’m taking a day off of work and hanging out with my wife! The rest of the week will be pretty action packed.
Tuesday: I’ll be reading about Jesus cleansing the temple and doing a little cleaning up in my office and at home. I’m going to try to put away a few things that aren’t essential and contemplate what is most important in knowing and doing the will of God.
Wednesday: I’ve been fasting on Wednesdays since the beginning of the year from sunup to sundown. This is the last fast! I’ll be trying to focus my prayers on Jesus’ “emptying himself” in order to do the will of God. I’ll read Philippians 2:5-11 multiple times that day.
Maundy Thursday: I’ll have the opportunity to be at church to worship and remember the events of the Upper Room: Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus giving his body and blood.
Good Friday: As the sun begins to set, our evening worship service will begin. Leaving a Good Friday service in the darkness and quiet makes Jesus sacrifice so very real.
Saturday and Silence: I’m going to spend an hour in silence around midday and contemplate the reality that Jesus was dead, silent, and in a tomb.
Easter Sunday: The silence of the tomb will be overwhelmed by an explosion of celebrative joy. Music, worship and these words will fill my ears, “He is RISEN!” Indeed.
Blessings to you as you discern the best way to walk with Jesus every step of the way this Holy Week.
- Pastor Gregg