Wednesday, April 01, 2015

This Holy Week

Our foreheads were marked with the sign of the cross almost six weeks ago on Ash Wednesday as we began our journey to the cross. With the sign of the cross on our foreheads, the words "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; to dust you came, to dust you shall return" were spoken over us. Every time I mark a person's forehead, I am reminded of their humanity and their mortality. It is especially hard when I mark the sign of the cross on a child's forehead. Yet God declares that God will never leave us or forsake us. This Holy Week I am especially mindful of all who have gone before us including dear blogger Kara Tippetts who lost her battle with cancer a few weeks ago.

It is indeed a holy Week; a week in which we remember all Christ has done for us and experience so many emotions. It is a week in which we feel sadness but it also is a week in which we can be so very thankful. It is a week that walks us from the foot-washing of the disciple's feet and gathering at the table, to the intensity we feel on the night of his crucifixion and death, to the hope that pours out when we come to the tomb and see the stone rolled away. It is a week that reminds us of the holy hopeful promise found in Jesus' life, death and Resurrection.

But we cannot experience the promise of the Resurrection without first walking from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday to that joy-filled Easter morning. Clarence W. Hall once wrote, "Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." I find myself clinging to those words this week. There is such hope in knowing that death does not have the final word but that God does.

This Lent I have had the privilege of praying through my Facebook friends list. It is always such an enriching experience to pray for these friends. With their prayers in my heart and knowing how they have experienced their own deaths (death of relationship, death of life, etc), there is hope found in knowing that death does not and WILL NOT have the final word. I am again reminded of one of my favorite Bible verses; Psalm 30: verse five "Weeping may come for the night but joy comes with the morning."

Tomorrow, on Maundy Thursday, we will gather at the table, with all of our brokenness, where God calls us to come, have our feet washed and eat and drink. Then on Good Friday, we are brought to our knees as Jesus is beaten and crucified. There is a eery stillness that comes over the world that night. But then three days later, we come to the tomb and find that the tomb has been rolled away. And we know that death has not had the last word, but that God does!

God sent God's son into the world for each and every one of us. God loves us so THAT MUCH! And knowing that love, I find myself thankful for what Christ has done for me.....has done for all of us. But there is also a trembling that comes over me. I am reminded of the chorus to the African American spiritual "Were you There" "Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble." And, my friends, this holy week I especially don't want to forget that trembling; a trembling that is there as my feet are washed; a trembling that is there as I hear Jesus being beaten and crucified; and a trembling that is there when I come to the tomb and find it empty! Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!


I am linking up with these wonderful writers today: Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday, 
Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory, Holly Gerth for Coffee for your Heart
and Angela Parlin at the #RaRaLinkup.




 



15 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I don't come from a background that puts a lot of emphasis on Easter, so I find it interesting to read how others celebrate Easter and what it means to them. Thank you for explaining some of it!

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    1. I am glad I was able to explain some of it for you. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words, Tara! It is a blessed and holy week indeed.

    Love that quote from Clarence W. Hall.

    He is Risen indeed!

    Blessings to you and yours.

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    1. Thanks Heather! It is indeed a blessed and holy week. That Clarence W. Hall quote is one of my faves. Blessings to you and yours as well.

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  3. Praying through your Facebook friends list is such a beautiful idea. I may have to copy it. :)

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    1. I have done it for the last five years and it is such an enriching experience. You should totally try it.

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  4. The greatest love story of all time!

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  5. thanks! bountiful blessings to you and your hearers as you preach today. I'm planning to attend noon MT liturgy at Church Around the Corner; not exactly the same ambiance as evening, but still, Lent is over, and in the past I've discovered something special and unique about daytime Maundy Thursday.

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    1. Thanks! Hope you got to enjoy and attend the noon MT service.

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  6. Yes...Christ is risen! Thanks for sharing this encouragement at #RaRaLinkup this week!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Angela!

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Your comments totally make my day!