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holy week

“Holy Week” is the traditional Christian identification for the seven days prior to Easter Sunday. This doesn’t mean it’s somehow a better week than the other fifty-one. It simply means to invite you to live these seven days a little differently. Identifying this week as Holy challenges all people to think differently this week—more reflectively, more spiritually and less culturally. To be blunt, Holy Week challenges you to spend seven days not thinking first and foremost about yourself.
Gathering with others is a big thing in Christianity. But it need not be a big gathering. Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Christian tradition offers some unique gatherings to nudge us away from our culture’s narcissism.
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Tenebrae services, along with Stations of the Cross somberly recall Jesus’ deep sacrificial love for unlovable people. People who abandon Him, betray Him, deny Him, stand by and do nothing for Him, falsely accuse Him, condemn Him, mock Him, torture Him, kill Him. For all of us Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Find a Holy Week service, gather with others, reflect on God’s mystery and His story.

Obviously, you don’t have to gather with others. Holy Week is a good opportunity to fast. Few things are as impactful as going without food. Keep it simple, don’t make it a burden or warp into some personal achievement. Pick a day this week to skip one or two meals. Good Friday is a traditional fast day, but you choose. Fasting confronts us with just how weak we really are—how needy we are.

Finally, you can always fall back on the 20thCentury default option; watch a movie.
Risen is appropriate for kids as young as middle school and is thought-provoking enough for every age. For younger children The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe uses fantasy to tell the big story behind Easter Sunday.

Holy Week is an invitation for you to live one week—this week a little differently. ~

Dan Nygaard