At some time in your life you have probably been encouraged to "be present in the moment." I know that is a skill I have encouraged many people to practice over the years. Yet this morning I realized how subtly my brain has been trained to look beyond what is happening in the moment.
Case in point; all the advertising letters and brochures that come in the mail and are casually tossed into a pile I intend to get to later. All are crafted to catch my eye, draw me in, and entice me to take action. Over the years I've been conditioned to take action by looking beyond their call to pay attention.
I wonder if there is a similar looking beyond that happens with Holy Week. Certainly worship attendance increases dramatically on Easter Sunday and to a lesser extent Palm Sunday. So at first glance it may not be apparent; yet my hunch is that whole of Holy Week is overlooked. If this is so, may I encourage you to "be present in the moment" with the entirety of Holy Week.
Life is a series of interconnected moments that are best understood when viewed together. The gospels proclaim that Jesus is Emmanuel; God with us. So the drama of Holy Week mirrors the moments of our lives and accentuates the ever present grace of God in our daily lives. Here are a few examples:
Palm Sunday reflects that God is present in the triumphs we work so hard to achieve in our lives. It also serves as a reminder that typically they are short lived.
Maundy Thursday demonstrates God with us in the most intimate moments of our lives and the promises shared. It also reminds us of the betrayals experienced in life; both from others and those that we perpetrate and deny.
Good Friday involves the deepest mystery of God with us. Through our tragedies and our anguish that accompany them we experience both forsakenness and perhaps the most sacred experience of God's presence. What a mystery this is!
Easter Sunday holds together both triumph and tragedy and the resurrection faith that nothing can separate us from the love of God. After all, God with us means in every moment of life!