Between Sundays: Walking Holy Week with the Passion
It’s easy to focus on the Sundays.
Here as we enter the most sacred week of the Christian year, many of us can quickly identify the next two Sundays. On April 14, we wave palm branches and shout, “Hosanna!” to the Son of David. On April 21, we celebrate that Christ our Lord has risen from the grave. What joyful celebrations they are, but when we ignore the events of the week between those Sundays, we have only bookends without the pages of the Church’s great story.
During Holy Week here at First UMC of West Point, we will have the opportunity to hear that whole story. The Passion narrative in Luke’s gospel encompasses 91 verses of Scripture, but we will not read them all at once. We will hear some verses on Passion/Palm Sunday, some at the Holy Thursday service, and some at Good Friday’s Reading of the Passion. We will spread them out not only as a traditional readings but also in the Stripping of the Altar on Holy Thursday and the Tenebrae of Good Friday.
It’s easy to focus on the Sundays, but this year would you focus also on Holy Week? Our Holy Thursday service will be at 6PM on April 18 and the Good Friday service will be at 12 noon. Whether or not you are able to attend these services, I encourage you to set aside time to read the Passion Narrative throughout the week. It is a story that deserves our time and attention. It is a story that changes us. The whole story is our story of holiness through Jesus Christ our Lord. I look forward to a Holy Week of worship with you.
all good things to each of you,
Lectionary Texts for April 14, 2019
Liturgy of the Palms Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 Luke 19:28-40
Liturgy of the Passion Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Luke 22:14-23:56