The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Way Column – April 2011
As we make our way through the season of Lent, we walk the way with Jesus in the desert, considering not only his journey there, but also the journey of his life on earth. As we approach Palm Sunday on April 17th and Holy Week, which follows, the drama of the season reaches its height. Jesus enters Jerusalem as the messiah and king. However, as the week proceeds, his disciples and followers learn that he is a messiah like no other, and a king like nothing that they had ever seen. The messiah who entered Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches and hails and shouts of joy ends the week on a cross.
Our own Lenten journey would be enhanced if we each enter into the story in whatever way that we can as we approach Holy Week. It has become my practice to read each of the four canonical gospel accounts of the Holy Week. Have you read these accounts recently? Have you used your imagination to consider how you might have seen these events? What about a bystander? What about a follower of Jesus just outside the close companionship of the disciples? What about the experience of someone who had earlier been healed by Jesus? What about the experience of Lazarus of Bethany, who had been raised by Christ? What about the perspective of the Temple priests? What about the perspective of Pilate’s wife (who may have been a sometime follower of Jesus)? What about the experience of those whose feet were washed by Jesus on Maundy Thursday?
How well do you know the gospel accounts? Where might you find yourself in the story?
Though we read these stories every year, and though we walk the way of Jesus each year as Holy Week approaches, we can find new sights, new sounds, new smells, new tastes and new perspectives on this old old story. Do you have (new) eyes to see? Do you have (new) ears to hear?
I encourage us all to continue to keep a holy Lent, and to consider entering into Holy Week with new eyes and ears. The more we can enter into Holy Week, the more we can rejoice in the Easter Feast on April 24th!
Peace and Blessings,