A couple of weeks ago, our church staff came across a Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory Chart of Church Saints and their approach to Holy Week. My personality type aligns me with St. Nicholas whose description starts this way, "Holy week is my jam!" We laughed because words could not be more true about how I feel about Holy Week. I absolutely love it!
I love the extra emphasis that is placed on wrestling with God's unbelievable love and journey to the cross. I love how the story ends in triumph and victory over the grave. I love the tension of knowing Easter is coming and how we in many ways have to force ourselves to sit in the pain and confusion at least for a moment.
I love that my Facebook News Feed is often filled with blogs, memes and status updates reflecting on this great work of God. I love that this is a week I get to experience my church family in so many ways: in the joy of Palm Sunday and Easter Egg Hunts, the quiet and humility of the Last Supper, the sobering truth of Good Friday and in the resurrection hope of Easter morning. What's not to love about this most holy of weeks!
As I come to this Holy Week, something feels different. Life is different for me this year. This Holy Week is the first one in a while where I understand Good Friday in a new way. This Good Friday is different because I have repeatedly answered the question that I wonder if God had in his heart and mind as he allowed Jesus to take the cross for us, How are you ever going to give him up?
How do you risk love knowing your heart may be broken in unimaginable ways? How do you place your one and only Son on a cross to die knowing he is innocent? How do you fully love a baby that is not your own and could leave the care of your arms tomorrow or the next day? How are you ever going to be able to give him up?
How? By clinging to the great truth of our faith that pain and joy are interconnected in ways deeper than our understanding. That we must die to truly live. That Easter Sunday does not come without Good Friday.
In one of my readings this week I came across this observation of Holy Week - it begins and ends with good news, but there is hell to pay in between.
Holy Week reminds us that all joy, hope and love in our lives is linked to pain, sacrifice and risk.
It's a week that reminds us of the mystery of God.
This week is the full range and depth of God's love for all of us.
And that is why it is my jam.