On Sunday, we gathered together at church to celebrate Palm Sunday, marking the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem and began his journey to the cross. Holy Week, the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, is one of the more symbolic and important weeks of our Christian faith, giving us several lessons we should take forward into the rest of the year.
The first day of Holy Week, Palm Sunday, is when Jesus came into Jerusalem, but he rode in humbly, on a donkey.
Thursday marks the Last Supper, the day when Jesus brought his disciples together, gave them the first Holy Eucharist, and washed their feet, knowing he would be crucified the next day.
On Good Friday, we remember His death. We remember his walk to Calvary, the abuse and the pain, and we mourn the loss of Jesus.
Then on Saturday, we wait. We wait because we know the best is yet to come, and on Easter Sunday, the stone is rolled back and the tomb is empty. The Lord has Risen.
Holy Week is an emotional week, but we should take a few lessons away as we move forward.
Jesus rode into town on a donkey. He humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples. You see, Jesus had no respect for the material wealth of this world--his calling was to bring light and love to the least of these. It was on Maundy Thursday that Jesus gave the disciples the last commandment--to "love one another as I have loved you."
Jesus didn't say "love those who come from privilege," or "love those who have never made mistakes." Jesus said to "love one another as I have loved you." Definitively, and without question, Jesus commands us to love one another.
And we carry that commandment forward into Good Friday as we watch the physical manifestation of that love. They beat Him, ridiculed Him, and they hung Him from the cross, where he died for you.
Yet on Saturday, we can wake up with a new hope--with a hope that what is died will return to life and what is broken will be fixed. We can wait in faith that Jesus will return.
And as Easter Sunday arrives, our sins are forgiven and we embrace the promise of new life.
Not one of us is without sin or without wrongdoing, but Easter reminds us of the promise of new life--the promise of change, the promise of renewal.
As we move forward into Holy Week, think about the things in your life, in your community and in this state and nation that are broken but will be fixed. Will faith alone fix them, or must we act in the way Jesus has commanded us--by first loving one another as He has loved us?