Most years, at this time, when we’ve just celebrated the parade, the pomp and circumstance of Palm Sunday, I find myself encouraging you to make a mental and spiritual pivot—to realize that Easter isn’t here yet, and before we get there, we have to journey through Holy Week. And most years, I find myself inviting you to willingly engage the darkness of Holy Week.
But I don’t think I have to do that this year. I don’t feel compelled to invite you into the darkness because in many respects, we’re already there.
This is a dark time, isn’t it? We’re anxious, we’re afraid, we hear stories of doctors and nurses overwhelmed and overrun. We hear of people (maybe even our own loved ones) becoming sick and perhaps hospitalized…and we’re scared. We don’t know when we’ll even turn the corner, let alone find ourselves emerging from all this. Yes, this is a dark time.
So rather than inviting you into the darkness, this year I want to invite you to look for the light. Because if we will pay attention, there is light to be found. Just as there is light to be found in healthcare workers, teachers, social workers, ministers, neighbors giving their all for one another in these days, there is also light to be found throughout Holy Week. Moments of light as Mary anoints Jesus’ feet, as Jesus shares a last supper with his disciples, gives them a great commandment of love, as he washes their feet, as he prays in the garden. And even at that darkest of times—as Jesus was hanging upon the cross, with his precious last breaths, he offers forgiveness. If we would look closely, there are moments of light.
The Psalm for today, Monday of Holy Week, is Psalm 36. Hear this excerpt (Psalm 36:7-9):
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
Holy and Loving God, we thank you for the gift of your sacrificial love. Give us the courage we will need to walk through this holiest of weeks with you. Teach us to listen to the leading of your Spirit. Help us to see moments of love and light in the midst of the darkness. This we pray in the name of the one who loved us so much that he gave his life for us. Amen.