Holy Week and Easter
Our journey through Lent is a long one, and now that spring is progressing nicely with warmer temperatures and longer days, my guess is that most of us just want to jump right to Easter morning.However, before Easter can happen there is an important story we need to go through each year
that holds the paradox of life and death. As Christians, in order to understand the joy of the Easter resurrection, we have to first understand the suffering and death of Good Friday.
Holy Week begins with the parades and drama of Palm Sunday, reenacting Jesus entry into Jerusalem. His last effort to overturn the tables of the Roman Empire sets in motion the events leading up to his arrest, trials, and crucifixion. Some denominations hold services or events each day of Holy Week, but typically within the United Church we focus on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and sometimes Holy Saturday for vigils.
Maundy Thursday is the day we remember the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples. Our sacament of communion remembers the words Jesus spoke to his friends as he shared the bread and the wine. On this day we also remember the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and wherehe was ultimately arrested.
On Good Friday (Good referring to a day observed as holy), we gather for a somber and reflective service to remember the sequence of events, beginning with the trials that led to the crucifixion and ending with the burial of Jesus body in the tomb.
Easter Sunday turns the sorrow of Good Friday into the joy of the resurrection. Death does not have the final word. Mary is the first to witness the resurrected Christ in the garden. Gods eternal life and love carries on and we are invited to share that good news in the world. As Gordon Lights lyrics suggest, Joy comes with the dawn, joy comes with the morning sun; joy springs from the tomb andscatters the night with her song, joy comes with the dawn.

Peace and joy,