Holy Week is, in my estimation, the best of what the Christian tradition offers the world.
In the course of a few days we live, through the lens of Biblical storytelling at its finest, the arc of the human tragedy, a tragedy that all of us live through at some point in our lives.
We eat with friends, and are betrayed by some. We’re abandoned by friends, and left in the solace of our God.
We’re lied about. We, like Peter, experience deep regret.
We’re hung out to dry. We cry with Mary at the unfair death of a loved one. We cry like John at the unfair death of a friend.
We’re made a family through tragedy, as Jesus will do with his mother and the Beloved Disciple.
There’s a great emptiness…that Holy Saturday…where we feel the Great Nothing on the far side of trauma.
And then there is redemption and resurrection. There is wonderful surprise, as felt by the disciples. There is shared astonishment and disbelief. The tears that flew out of sorrowful eyes stream out of eyes that cannot contain the unadulterated joy welling up inside of us.
Holy Week needs to be experienced at every step on that way, though, or else we get a false Easter.
The cross is the lens through which Blessed Martin Luther saw all things. The resurrection was the postlude to the central truth that he saw in Jesus: God loves humanity to death…and one step beyond.
If I were preaching this week I’d do my best to get out of the way and let the story preach itself, by God…