By: Conference Minister Diane Weible
When I was a youth there were some years when almost every day of Holy Week was spent at church. From Palm Sunday to our final Wednesday soup supper to Maundy Thursday to Good Friday to Saturday’s rehearsal and Sunday’s worship services, I found peace and challenge, joy and sorrow, weakness and strength and lived through the many emotions this week always brings.
Even now, when the number of days of Holy Week I actually spend at church are fewer, the same feelings accompany me during Holy Week. The same feelings of joy, sorrow, peace, agony, celebration and despair remind me of the importance of this week for my faith and for my spiritual growth.
Many of you have heard me say that we open our church doors, not so people can come in, but so that we can go out. And, I believe that with all my heart. AND, I also know that before we can go out, we have to have come in. We have to find nurture and strength and hope and courage so that when we go out to find the brokenness and the hurt in the world, we are ready to share our light and our love with all those in need—with institutions and individuals that are broken and in desperate need of the message of hope and grace and courage that we can offer.
We go out because we have learned that the God of creation who has given us life desires life for all people, regardless of age or sex or education or sexual orientation or skin color or accent.
We go out because we have witnessed the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and we have said “no more” to hate and violence and all the ways we seek to separate and alienate one another.
We go out because the Holy Spirit has reminded us that the empty tomb and the empty cross are symbols of new possibilities and new hope and new creation. They are symbols of a world where the impossible becomes possible and hatred becomes love.
This Holy Week, my prayer is that you find the space to come in to be held in peace and challenged by love so that you are ready to go out and shout to the world that “He is not here—He has risen indeed!”