A Meaningful Holy Week and Easter
“I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
From T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets
A most meaningful Holy Week indeed. Parts of it we feel more acutely than in other years; the power of death, and also the despair the disciples must have felt that Jesus wasn’t doing what they thought or wanted him to be doing. We may have a new window into the loneliness Jesus must have felt hanging over him all week. Other aspects of Holy Week may seem harder to connect to this year: the elation of Easter Sunday, the communion and togetherness of the Last Supper (even if it was followed by scattering, betrayal, denial, and separation).
Fortunately our faith is not dependent on us mustering the right feelings. It’s a lot bigger than that. Our faith is about what God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ and in us and through us–whether we “feel” it or not.
It’s good and right to lament this week, and there is much to lament: the abrupt ending of a school year; teachers and students who won’t get to say goodbye to each other in any proper way or go through long-anticipated “rites of passage,” or events we planned and worked hard on that have been delayed or cancelled. I have a friend who just had to cancel his May wedding and I know many in our congregation have had to cancel or delay important life events. Within our own church life, we’ve canceled many events, including Holy Week events: the Rise Up! Children’s Event, the Maundy Thursday Seder Service, and our choir concert. These things can’t be replaced.
Nevertheless, our staff (and others) have been working hard to provide some meaningful experiences for Holy Week, which I present to you now:
We are blessed to have a number of retired pastors who worship in our congregation. For Holy Week, we asked them to each write a blog post on a different day of Holy Week. You can find those here.
- Palm Sunday – Jim Davis
- Maundy Thursday – John Haberlin
- Good Friday – Bill Kettenring
- Holy Saturday – Rich Buckham
- Easter Sunday – Joe Bettridge
Good Friday Devotional Videos
For Good Friday, we’ve created some videos to use as a devotional practice, and Ty has been compiling them into a YouTube playlist. There’s two ways to use it: watch all the videos in one sitting, OR pay attention to the times that are associated with those videos (in the titles) and watch them at those times throughout the day. Some are best guesses, but there are some actual times listed about Jesus’ crucifixion, and so this is designed as a way to journey with Jesus on Good Friday. You can find those videos here. (Please note, the playlist will not go “live” until 7pm tonight, 4/9)
Visio Divina Gallery
Many of you have now seen the daily entries of amazing art contributed by CKPC artists. We have been posting a new one each day to admire and also to use as a guide for prayer. In case you haven’t seen them, you can see all past ones here (and check back over the next few days to see the remaining 3!).
Steve and Michele Shaw have, for many years, built a fire and supplied coffee and muffins for our annual Easter sunrise service. Steve texted me Sunday night saying he and Michele were still planning to do a short service by Facebook live from the firepit in their backyard to keep the tradition alive. I told him I’d bring my guitar and play a couple songs and Ty will be there too with a brief message (all while the four of us keep a healthy distance, of course!). So, you can join us at 6:24am by Facebook live (the same place you go for Sunday livestream).
As always, Holy Week is moving towards Easter. We’ll gather, as we have the past few weeks by livestream at 10am once again. Here are the worship materials for Easter.
Things are challenging right now, but what a gift Holy Week is. It is an annual reminder built into the church calendar that as bleak as things get–the death of our Savior!–they aren’t the end of the story. Sunday is coming.
The darkness shall be light… and the stillness shall be dancing.
Pastor Tyler Kirkpatrick
Maundy Thursday 2020