Intro to Holy Week
This Sunday is Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Holy Week. This is the week where we mark the events of Jesus’ final week in Jerusalem. We will have palm branches and will have a procession to begin the service. This marks Jesus’ triumphal entry when the crowds and children were cheering.
But the mood will shift as we read the passion narrative. An entire chapter from Mark’s Gospel. You see, this is also called the Sunday of the Passion. We know nowadays that many people are unable to come to midweek services like Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. So if we went straight from the waving of palms this Sunday to the resurrection next Sunday we would miss out on a whole lot. To make sure we don’t miss it, we will read the Passion narrative in church this Sunday. Although it’s a longer reading than normal, I encourage you to listen deeply, absorbing the scenes.
But, if you are able to fight the Seoul evening traffic, (or hop on the Subway) I’d encourage you to come Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM. We will mark Jesus’ last supper with his disciples on Thursday. This service ends with a removal of all decoration from the altar, a sort of ominous sign of things to come. On Friday we see Jesus up on the cross and are left in uneasy anticipation as we leave the service in subdued silence.
All of this is meant to build real contrast with the joy of Easter. Spring would mean nothing without Winter, and so too Easter Sunday is deprived much of its joy if we don’t take our walk through Holy Week. The final meal, the arrest, the trial, the denials, and the final words of our Lord. Journey with us together this week while we retrace the steps of Christ as he secures our salvation.