The Single Life: How Will You Observe Holy Week?
- Thursday, April 14, 2011
My favorite Easter memory dates back to the year I was six. Easter lilies grew in our very own yard, my basket overflowed with chocolate, and that was the year Long Ears joined the family.
Long Ears was a stuffed rabbit with—you guessed it—particularly long ears. Alas, the ears didn’t last, probably due to my tendency to use them as a handle. The rest of Long Ears, however, is currently tucked up in a box with her husband, an orange poodle named George. After watching Toy Story 3 I nearly unpacked them and their friends for a big hug ... but that’s another story.
As an adult, my Easter celebrations look a little different. While flowers still bloom in my yard and Long Ears may even come out of retirement for the season, these days I’m more mindful of what Easter really means. Chocolate and bunnies are all fine in their place, but Jesus’ death and resurrection are far more worthy of attention. So this Holy Week I’ve decided to focus my thoughts in an attempt to more fully grasp what Easter is all about. Care to join me? Here’s my plan:
Palm Sunday: There’s a lot of sorrow and suffering on the horizon, but this day is all happy songs, palm branches, and “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.” Feel free to wave, sing, march ... whatever suits your tradition and temperament. In the midst of all that, here’s what I’ll be pondering: If Jesus came to my town would I go out to meet him? What if I already had plans for that day? Am I willing to rearrange my schedule to welcome the Messiah? Today’s reading: Luke 19:28-40
Monday: Today’s Scripture reading throws that old “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” stereotype out the window. One day the bustling center of commerce known as the Temple—a place supposed to be set aside for prayer—really rubbed him the wrong way. So he politely walked up to the nearest stall and said, “Please don’t do that...” Oh no, he didn’t! Jesus stormed in like an action-movie hero, knocking over furniture, sending goods and people flying, pitching a holy fit. He. Was. Not. Playing. The Temple is not to be trifled with.
This brings to mind 1 Corinthians 6:19: “You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you.” Does that temple need a good cleansing? I think we can include mind and spirit as well as physical body in this internal audit. Today’s reading: Mark 11:15-18
Tuesday: Ponder the pretzel. Why? Well, it is an official food of Lent, which is still in effect through Saturday. But before you snarf it down, take a good look at your salty snack. The pretzel was invented back in the mists of time when years only had three digits. The story goes that a monk was in the kitchen mixing up some Lenten bread when he got the idea to remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer by shaping strips of dough into little crossed arms. (Apparently that was a common position for prayer at the time.) So each pretzel is not just a tasty treat, it’s a call to prayer. Now, if a simple pretzel can be a reminder to pray, what else could you use as a mental sticky note to remind you to connect with God? Today’s reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:17
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