Every spring I watch astounded by the new life that sprouts from the trees, flowers, and vegetables in my back yard. Little miracles are happening everyday in my back yard. And at the same time, I cannot help but also think about the death and decomposition that is happening in my compost bin just a few yards from my garden. Nature is weird, y’all. Because those food scraps and yard clippings I throw into a pile in the corner of my yard eventually become the lively compost that feed and give nutrients to my little garden. Nature is cyclical. And our faith, too, is cyclical.
This Lenten season, we have been traveling towards Easter, but we know to do so by way of the cross. And this last week of Lent, perhaps the holiest of weeks in our tradition, slows down time as we follow Jesus’ footsteps into Jerusalem, walk with him into the upper room to celebrate the Passover feast, watch as he is betrayed by one of his closest friends, and eventually see him as he is hung on a cross to die. This week sets the stage for what is to come. And this week demonstrates the fullest nature of Jesus’ character.
On Palm Sunday, instead of fighting the powers of the Empire with the forces of God, Jesus instead subverts the kingly entrance into the Holy city by riding in– not on a white horse– but on a donkey. On Maundy Thursday, instead of excluding Judas and preparing for the accusations he knows will come, Jesus instead enjoys a holy feast with friends and subverts what it means to serve. And on Good Friday, instead of calling for an uprising of might and power, Jesus instead shows what non-violent action looks like and demonstrates love’s greatest demands.
In order to get to Easter, we have to journey with Jesus this week. And just like the little miracles we experience by the budding flowers and the growing vegetables by the way of the death of compost, the miracle of Easter depends on the cycle of Holy Week.
So join us tonight and tomorrow for our Holy Week services. Tonight we will work in collaboration with Labyrinth Progressive Student Ministries to celebrate the Last Supper and the humbling experience of foot and hand washing. This service will be held in the chapel at 6pm.
And tomorrow, we will worship in the sanctuary as we observe Good Friday with a Tenebrae service: a service of diminishing lights. The Good Friday service will begin at 7pm. Both services will provide childcare in the Kid’s Place.
It’s Holy Week y’all. Let’s observe the cycles of this faith.