Every year we take a two week spring break; we can observe Holy Week before Easter and take a week for renewal the week after Easter.
Years ago, when this tradition began and having no prior experience observing Holy Week, I simply wanted to leave a void and see what developed. In my head I pictured it as something like an advent wreath or a nightly family vespers. However, nothing has materialized that we routinely repeat every year.
This year's Holy Week has been filled with meaning for me. The events that have converged during this week have been thoughtfilled, introspective, communal, and worshipful.
The weekend began with a silent retreat with my community. I've never spent an entire day in silence and being silent when there are so many inspiring people a whisper away is a foreign experience. But because we all struggled in that silence together, it was powerful for me to walk alongside my friends practicing this discipline with them. It was a time of joy for me, for remembrance, for renewal. And Palm Sunday began with our first spoken words as we served one another communion. A fitting entry back into the verbally worshipping world.
Our church community worships on Tuesday nights. This means we don't have Palm Sunday or even Easter Sunday to begin and end the story. It seems to create an even quieter Holy Week. But we entered into worship on Tuesday already in process. While we were engaged in life the holy had begun and I caught up my breath to remember it.
Dotted throughout the week there were times for community. A friend and her son joined us for dinner before worship, we engaged in experiences with our co-op several days this week, time with a friend at the park, coffee, planning meetings... as if the holy week is huddling us together reminding us that relationship is the very essence of God.
Today is the first of April. And in our house it's not about fooling one another, but about remembering God's help and presence. Today is our own Ebenezer. And we observe it by remembering and helping those without homes, as we once were. It just happens to fall on Maundy Thursday this year; a fitting time to offer a "stone of help" to others.
Friday is coming and I look forward to taking the boys through an interactive Easter experience close to our house. Annually, Friday is a sweet time for me as I pray that God will be made real in the hearts of my boys.
Sunday. Resurrection day. Our first year here in Denver, our first anniversary being the church with the people of TNL, and marking for me the thirty-second year that I've walked this journey after Christ.
Perhaps you observe Holy Week in a formal way. Perhaps it's a bittersweet time of remembering your Lenten commitment. Perhaps you run through it preparing Easter dinner, baskets and family gatherings this weekend. To all of us, may we consider how the holy is persistently awaiting our notice of it and turn to look at it.