Thank you to Jess who gave me this cross she made. “I love you.” by God is just the message we need to hear as we move into the holiest week of the church year. Holy week begins on Sunday. The whole week is a love letter from God.
On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into to Jerusalem. He rides on a donkey as a sign of peace. The crowds rejoice and sing praise to Jesus. They are longing for a king to save them. We have deep longing in our soul and world today too. Jesus comes to save us all from hatred, sadness, and injustice. He comes bringing the “weapons” of love, forgiveness, and peace.
Those are not the “weapons” the people in Jesus’ day wanted and many times we do not want today either. We often prefer violence and a quick fix over God’s vision of love, welcome, forgiveness, and inclusion.
On Maundy Thursday we remember Jesus’ last meal with the disciples. We remember Jesus’ act of loving service, washing the dirty feet of those he loves. We remember Jesus act of loving service—giving his own body and blood—so we can take God’s love right into ourselves when we join in this holy meal.
On Good Friday we grieve. We grieve that hatred and greed are so strong. We grieve the loneliness and loss of death. We grieve the pain and suffering of Jesus. We grieve the brokenness in our own hearts and lives. God’s amazing response is: “I love you and NOTHING can ever separate you from my love!”
Then on Saturday we wait. This may be the hardest part. Jesus’ disciples waited for Passover to end so they could take care of Jesus’ dead body. They waited in utter hopelessness. We too know the depths of despair in one way or another. We too know the agony of waiting when all seems lost. Yet God’s love letter says, “Wait!” God is with us in our waiting. The end is not always what we think.
We have been telling the story of Holy week at worship during Lent. Have you noticed the intensity of the children as they hear the powerful message? Silence. Focus. Wonder.
May you too enter into the awe and wonder this holy week. May the passion of Jesus assure you of God’s love for every single one of God’s children. May you hear God speaking to you: “I love you!”
You can find the beautifully illustrated children’s book “Easter Love Letters from God” by Glenys Nellist and Sophie Allsopp here: https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Love-Letters-God-Stories/dp/0310760658/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1514911482&sr=8-12&keywords=Glenys+Nellist