holy week for the not-feeling-so-holy.

It’s Holy Week, and I am guessing you are all over the place on this one. Some of you love it and are enjoying the different services and sacred spaces to honor the week. Others are wrestling with how to engage with Easter and all that’s wrapped up in it after a radical faith shift and feeling lonely and disconnected. And if you’re like me this year, you’re somewhere in between–a bit tired and just trying to stay in as best you can.

I like this week because I love the upside-down ways of Jesus and the crazy story that makes no sense but changes everything. I like being a little bit disoriented, a little bit confused.

But I definitely don’t have any new exciting ideas this year. I am just walking through these days trying to stay as present as I can despite some obstacles. I have already written so many things over the years related to this week, and as I reflected on them I realized that most of them aren’t for traditional Holy Week lovers but maybe for those of us who long for sacred spaces & connection with God but some of the traditional language and perspectives just don’t quite fit.

I’m not sure where you’re at, but here are some old links to take a peek at if you are interested.

  • kings – Palm Sunday has already passed, but our fixation on looking for a king lasts 52 weeks a year, that’s for sure.
  • receiving – Some thoughts on John 13 and why it’s so much easier to give than receive.
  • when easter is hard – Reality for many these days.
  • easter hope(less) – When we long to feel the stirring of new life again.
  • friday-saturday-sunday living – Embracing this rhythm is easier said than done but so much more realistic.
  • the cross – “victory needs a new definition.”
  • formation friday – the cross – Because things change and our faith is ever-transforming, it is sometimes helpful to consider, “what does the cross meant to me this year?”
  • our drinking-vodka-out-of-frozen-turkeys – Yes, we are all like “those people.” My favorite blog-post-title ever.
  • she can’t be silenced – an easter morning post for sheloves magazine and a reminder that on the other side of silence is life.
  • resurrecting – “It’s not an event but a way of living.” I hope for ongoing resurrection in my life in all kinds of ways.

And I always love this cartoon from David Hayward for Good Friday.

I’ve got a post tomorrow for Maundy Thursday centered on friendship from my recent trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Oh, how I keep being reminded, yet again and again, how wild & beautiful & simple & so-much-harder-than-going-to-church the ways of Jesus really are.

Peace and hope to you this Holy Week in whatever form that looks like for you this week.  I hope we can be as honest as we can exactly where we are. It’s okay to have hope, it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to go to church, it’s okay not to.  It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to cry.

May we just be who we are, how we are.

In the words of Brennan Manning: “There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.”

//

ps: If you’re interested in lovely reflections & some liturgies & Holy Week ideas, my friend Christine Sine always has some great resources every year.

 

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

3 Comments

  • I am glad I am not the only one who is a bit tired so thank you for sharing. Tired physically, and perhaps staying in more than I would do otherwise, but I am OK with that. It’s valuable for resting and having peace, I am finding.

    It is interesting with what you say about being present. I was just today thinking and talking about presence elsewhere. For me having discussions and differences of opinion expressed about what Jesus meant about selling your coat if you have one and buying a sword.

    With traditional language, for me some of it it rich and comforting in a way that I need in the midst of the difficulties and challenges that following Jesus bring up and the natural contempt and surprise others show as well as the honest inquiry at different times. It feels like home, an oasis in the middle of it all. However there are some other aspects of it that worry me, about church that doesn’t represent Jesus either by being too “nice” with things like “we are not equipped, nor are we expected, to wage all-out war with Satan”. Or with too condemning largely around the label of being a sinner. These drain and tire me. The reality in Jesus as I see it is that we are or can be equipped for any spiritual battle we encounter and that we have original goodness, our status being in that not in the sin which of course none of us are without.

    So I think yes harder than going to church in one sense that it can mean being different with all the human consequences of that but I would find it harder to do more to fit in at church and miss out on what it means to be a follower of Jesus when the church doesn’t represent that well.

    I love the cartoon, your affirming assertion about it being ok to be who we are and that lovely quote about beauty in being honest and not false.

    thanks Kathy.

    Reply

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