A Holy Pause and Reflection…
Last week was Holy week. I know that I’ve mentioned before but I’m a non-liturgical so my church doesn’t really observe anything formally. Our pastor enjoys the liturgical calendar, but there’s not much in the way of corporate liturgy. However, in a blessed coincidence, our denominational conference was last week and we were in church almost every day.
I didn’t do well on Lent this year. I’ll speak more about that on Wednesday. However, I did notice that I felt like my intentions were pulled in several directions. I had all of these great intentions, but very little follow through. Yet that wasn’t true for Holy Week. I actually had little by way of intentions and so follow through wasn’t a problem.
It didn’t help that we had an abnormal amount of friends in town for the conference and we had decided that since we now live so close, we’d just commute rather than spending the money on a hotel room. So, basically, I functioned on around 3-5 hours of sleep a night. It was a difficult week, but as I sit now I can see how blessed it was.
But to really do a reflection justice, I have to go back a bit further. Specifically to Tuesday, 15 March. You see, on this day, our pastor and his dear wife gave birth to their third child. Because of this wondrous, miraculous event, my husband was asked to teach on Wednesday, 16 March. He decided to do a lesson on a brief history from Luke leading up to Palm Sunday and Holy Week. It set things up nicely for our friend who was the guest preacher for that Sunday, 20 March (Palm Sunday).
Both of these lessons together brought out a few great aspects of the passion that I hadn’t spent a lot of time on (mainly the crucifixion as a coronation for Jesus’ Kingship). With this in mind and heart, we went into our conference. There were missions reports on Tuesday, but the real classes start on Wednesday, which also happens to be “Holy Wednesday” or “Spy Wednesday.”
For our conference, the preachers, pastors, and missionaries meet and have classes and the spouses will meet and have a fellowship and a few classes as well. The main impetus for Holy Wednesday is the celebration of the anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary. I’ve spoken a bit about how I’m learning to worship like Mary, giving my all and my most valued to Jesus. Our class on Wednesday was about being still in a world of noise, so I decided then that I wouldn’t worry about blog posts or social media or anything outside of what I was doing right then.
Thursday night is always special at our conference because they have a large worship service that night and the ministers elect the speaker. This year we had a brother who was native Jamaican speaking. Yet, I kept thinking about the fact that it was Maundy Thursday, the day that commemorates Jesus’ last meal with His disciples. We were blessed to have a meal with a dear brother that evening and we also had several hours of fellowship that evening.
Good Friday marked the end of the conference and I’ll admit that we were pretty tired. It was definitely bittersweet. The classes were great all week, but the ending prayer and benediction for the week was blessed above and beyond. That evening we met friends for dinner and then went back to the church to fellowship with a few of the families that we rarely get to see.
On Saturday, the conference was over. We were done and most of our friends were leaving. We had to get up early and go pick up our son from his grandparents. Life as normal was to return after this wonderful experience and mountaintop time. Added in was the fact that I had to work that evening. We were doing a special event to spread awareness about the Persecuted Church. Sorrowful Saturday, indeed.
Resurrection Sunday, we met at church for a special breakfast, but there was a heaviness that seemed to permeate the event. It carried all the way through our communion service and didn’t quite break until after our pastor declared with fervor, “He is Risen!” To which those of us who knew replied, “He is Risen, Indeed!” It was a wonderful service. I truly enjoyed walking through the entirety of the gospel from a fellowship of brethren to crucifixion to the resurrection to the Kingdom all in one morning.
So, in the end, I didn’t quite observe in the traditional ways. I did let the world and busyness get in the way of focusing on Jesus. But I did take a bit of time on Sunday and reflect on what all had gone on this week and how even when I wasn’t looking, Jesus permeated my life. He showed Himself and His values throughout my week.
What about you? How were you blessed this past week? What does Holy Week mean to you?