It feels a little perverse to confess that Holy Week is my favorite week of the year, if not borderline morbid. After all, what kind of person looks forward to a murder – especially one that they help perpetrate? But as someone who tends to float in the spiritual shallows more often than not, I grab onto Holy Week each year like a life preserver. It is the one week each year that practically forces me to structure life around Jesus’ experience rather than my own; it’s an annual invitation to see and believe that his story is the only one that matters; and it is, each year, a revelation that God knows just how messed up my own story is and moves towards me all the same, knowing fully what it will cost.
I know all of these things, all year long. But I can’t maintain the intensity of focus. The cares of the world spring up and choke out much of my growth. And then comes Holy Week – with my church’s corporate fast, with the building crescendo of services, and the slow approach into the dark waiting of Holy Saturday – and the weeds begin to wilt. Strangely, annually, out of death comes new life.
In keeping with Holy Week tradition at here Aslan’s Library, we’ll be offering daily reflections as Christians the world over walk through Jesus’ last week together. Not too much talking from us, since this is a week more for listening and waiting, quietly standing by. My fabulous sister-in-law gave me a copy of The Valley of Vision for Christmas, and I’ve been savoring the frankness, the incisiveness, and the desperate hope in some of the old Puritan prayers. I hope you’ll join us, and that they’ll speak to you as well.
Here’s one for Palm Sunday (from “Love to Jesus,” in The Valley of Vision):
The Son breaks out in glory
when he shows himself as one who outshines
makes men poor in spirit,
and helps them to find their good in him.
Grant that I may distrust myself, to see
my all in thee.