I recently read an article that descripted Holy Week as a “symphony with distinct movements unfolding.” I thought that was a beautiful description of the week and why each day of the week is so meaningful. I did not grow up United Methodist. I attended a church that approached Holy Week very differently. Good Friday was a day of celebration because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. I understand that way of thinking, but I prefer the United Methodist approach to Holy Week.
During Holy Week we offer two additional services on Thursday and Friday to help us better appreciate all the events of the week. The distinct movements that rapidly change throughout the week beginning with “Hosanna in the highest” as Jesus enters Jerusalem to “Let him be crucified” on Friday of the very same week.
First, we will have a Maundy Thursday service at 7pm to celebrate communion as a church just as Jesus spent his last Thursday eating with his disciples. It was during that meal that Judas uttered, “Surely not I, Lord?” when Jesus said one of his disciples would betray him. In that same meal Jesus teaches us to take communion as a body of believers when he said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Later that night, shortly before Jesus was arrested, we hear him pray, “Let this cup pass from me” as he anticipates what suffering he will have to endure.
The Good Friday service, also at 7pm will help us remember the suffering Christ did for us as we hear him say, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and give us a deep appreciation of the grace he has extended to us through the cross. Of course, on Easter Sunday we will remember again the words in Matthew, “He is not here; for he has been raised.” Each movement throughout the week needs time and space to reflect on the events of this symphony that leads to our salvation. I am deeply grateful that St. Andrews will have those opportunities to reflect on the week as we move to Easter. I hope you will also make time this week and join us for these special services to prepare your hearts for Easter morning.