Holy Week 2010
I’m conscious that this week is “holy” for those who are Christian. …if you don’t understand Jesus of Nazareth to be the fullest revelation of God in human form, then this week which contains the story of his final entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper with his disciples, his trial and crucifixion, and the resurrection – that pivotal piece in the Christian faith – then this week may be less ‘holy’ and more simply a reason to have an extra day or two off work (or perhaps, if you must work, an opportunity to cash in on over-time wages…!).
This week is holy for me in that I find people are doing things they may not otherwise do.
At our Maundy Thursday service last evening, people took off their shoes and we had a foot-washing ritual as part of the service. It was a moment of unusual vulnerability for all of us involved. I don’t normally touch peoples’ feet, and people don’t normally take their shoes and socks off in front of me. …but we did! And we all survived – in fact, the warm water was happily received by everyone who took part! It was a moment of ‘pampering,’ too!
Today is Good Friday. There is an annual “Way of the Cross” walk through Kelowna’s down-town core. I look forward to it as it is a time for prayer. And when I talk about prayer, I’d want to be clear that I don’t mean the pious kind where every other word is “Lord” and the petitioner is asking for special personal blessings and benefits. Prayer, as I understand it and use it, is a time of reflection – a space where the concerns of all, some specific some more broad, are held up and given respect and care. So during the walk where the cross is carried, we stop at service agencies and other places to ponder their work, pray for it, and to reflect on our place in a system where such agencies are needed: do we contribute to oppressive systems, or do we genuinely work for the good of all in our daily living? Sometimes this annual walk also makes stops outside of banks or government buildings and raises issues of whether those groups depend on the system to maintain their privileged place in society.
This week will continue with an Easter Vigil service and a Sunrise service – both celebrating the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
In the same way that I’ve had new opportunities, new chances when I’ve messed up, I’m convinced that we are always gifted with new life. That, in a nutshell, is the good news I take from the Easter story – and I look forward to meditating on it again this weekend.