“He is Risen. He Is Not Here” (Mark 16:6)
Easter is coming! The resurrection is almost here. As a community we have been journeying through Lent, allowing the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal to us the many things that are obstructing our relationship with God. We have asked God for help in removing these obstacles and we have tried to strengthen our connections with God. As we approach Easter, our journey will continue as we follow along with Jesus during Holy Week.
Holy Week is when we walk with Jesus during the most difficult time of his life. During Holy week, we attempt (in our own ways) to experience some of the pain, the heartache, and the rejection that Jesus felt. We begin the week celebrating the height of praise as Jesus enters Jerusalem. We accompany Jesus from that mountain top experience to an emotional last meal and an intense time of prayer. This is the week when we stand witness to a tragic betrayal, devastating false accusations, and the horror of a mocking, torturous death.
We do this each and every year so that we can encounter Easter all over again. So that the wonder, majesty, and power of (Easter) hope and forgiveness can once again revitalize our faith, renew our spirits, and help us to further embrace the new life that Jesus has gifted us.
Holy Week may consist of a host of remembrances or commemoration events. Some we observe at Alpine, some we don’t. They can include foot washing, a cross walk, Easter Vigil, a prayer concert, sunrise services, meditations, a Seder meal, praying the Stations of the Cross, fasting, reading a holy week devotional, commemorating the events with friends, and celebrating the joy of the resurrection with family, friends, and food. Lots of good food.
At Alpine we will have three important gatherings. Please consider joining us for one or all of these events. Times and details are listed in this Summit newsletter.
- On Maundy Thursday, we remember the new command that Jesus gave us “Love one another” and gather to connect with Jesus as we celebrate Holy Communion.
- On Good Friday we walk alongside Jesus as we observe the betrayal, torture, and death of Jesus and come face to face with the depth of God’s love for us.
- Then on Easter morning we gather together with Joy in our hearts to celebrate the victory that Jesus one for us and embrace our new life with God.
Holy Week is important as it reminds Christians of God’s sacrifice of his son, and also God’s love for his people. Christians can learn much about Jesus through the last week of his life. I have discovered that I need to walk through these final days, to contemplate a dark, Good Friday world, in order to fully appreciate the great gift of Easter.
“Do not abandon yourselves to despair: We are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.”
~ Pope John Paul II