Skipping Through Holy Week?
In his award winning book The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey describes holy week traditions (or lack thereof) in his childhood church community. He explains that they never held a Good Friday service. Nor one for Maundy Thursday. No, they “skipped past the events of Holy Week in a rush to hear the cymbal sounds of Easter.”
Later in life, when Yancey began studying theology and church history, he learned that unlike his home church, the biblical record slows down, rather than speeding up, during Holy Week. Instead of a rush to get to the good news of the resurrection, the gospel writers purposefully chronicle Jesus’ week in Jerusalem with “increasingly longer introductions” to the events.
Nearly a third of the gospels' length are devoted to this climactic last week of Jesus’ earthly life! Compare that to the average best selling biography of history’s greatest women and men, whose deaths are often afforded only a few pages.
Since December, we’re been working our way through the Gospel of Luke, first in our Advent series Four Little Words and more recently asking the 2,000 year old question Who Is This Man? Of course, there has been one rather obvious answer week after week, in every study guide and sermon.
But the account of this last week erases all doubt.
So, instead of “skipping past the events of Holy Week in a rush to hear the cymbal sounds of Easter,” let’s slow down and together ponder Luke’s account. Try this reading plan to keep you on track each day:
Sunday: Luke 19.1-44
Monday: Luke 19.45-48
Tuesday: Luke 20
Wednesday: Luke 21-22.6
Thursday: Luke 22.7-65
Friday: Luke 22.66-23.56
And lest I forget, we are not Philip Yancey’s childhood church. We will have a Maundy Thursday Taize Service and Good Friday Service, each at 7pm. Then, on Easter Sunday, we will turn the volume up to 11 with the “cymbal sounds of Easter.” Don’t forget the schedule:
8am - Classic Gathering (Chancel Choir & Brass)
9:30am - Blended Gathering (Choir, Brass & Praise Band)
11am - Modern Gathering (Praise Band)