The Longest Week. Reflections on (un?)Holy Week

I’m so over Holy Week.

It feels like a terrible thing thing to say, but not saying it feels disingenuous.

But, if you’ll bear with me and join with me as I work out my frustrations, watching as they mingle with the unending grace of a God who is outside of days and weeks, and months and years, perhaps we can each benefit in some way.

It’s not Holy Week specifically, it’s this week in particular that I can’t wait to put behind me.

At the end of this week, I will have attended two funerals, sat in memorial with two families and walked that sacred space between life and death twice in one week.

It seems at once fitting and inexplicably cruel that these should be the experiences of these families during a week that is meant to remind us of Christ’s love and presence in our lives.

It seems harsh to be faced with these realities during a week when, as a minister, I am expected to provide an elevated level of spiritual care, leading by introspective example.

Holy Week is meant to be a week of spiritual reflection that will culminate in spiritual renewal,but most of what I’ve felt this week has been spiritual depletion.

Holy Week is like being trapped in a perpetual paradox- through Lenten journeys of introspection, we are made aware of our own mortality and that of the people around us;

at the same time we keep hopeful eyes turned toward the culmination of our Lenten reflections- that glorious celebration of Easter.

Holy Week creates a longing within. A nostalgia for the past intermingled with anticipation of the future, and hope of a resurrection.

A resurrection of things as they should be: of Christ-like justice, of reconciled relationships, of bodies and minds made whole.

We journey through Holy Week juxtaposing this hope we have with our present realities, and the good news is, we do this together.

In the act of being to each other a community of faith, we walk with each other through the paradox of life.

Birthdays and celebrations, deaths and burials become holy moments that turn our hearts toward hope.

So then, maybe, this week was not so unholy after all. Weeks like this one remind me that God is in everything, and that this is the God who has called me; this is the God who renews my depleted spirit.

So, thanks be to God:
For the beautiful paradox.
For daily reminders of holiness in an unholy world.
For pools of cool water for apathy- parched souls.
For sacred spaces amidst desert wastelands of hopelessness and despair.
For the deaths that give way to new life and renewed hope.
For the beauty of spring blooms piercing through the ashen earth.
For all things made new and holy in God’s sight.


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