More than a remembering, Holy Week is an experience that offers us tactile connections to God’s amazing grace. We begin the week with Palm/Passion Sunday as we gather outside with palm branches waving, but by the end of the service we find ourselves gathered beneath the cross as God’s amazing grace unfolds. Likewise, Maundy Thursday invites us to sit with Christ’s first disciples and experience The Last Supper where he offers us bread, wine, and grace and shows us how to love one another in a service of footwashing. Finally, on Good Friday, as we kneel at and venerate the cross, we experience for ourselves the mystery of the amazing grace we receive from our crucified Savior. Together we hold vigil until we return again on Easter morning to celebrate his resurrection – and ours!
Palm Sunday is filled with jarring contradictions. We begin the service with a peculiar parade, where the Messiah rides a humble donkey rather than a white steed. And in the end he wears a peculiar crown – one made of thorns rather than jewels. We begin with joyful shouts of “Hosanna,” but in the end we find our own voices joining the shouts of “Crucify Him!” Yet, in this holy week, God’s amazing grace is palpable to us in and through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.