It is Holy Week. The week we recall Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. His final week with his disciples. His actions in the temple. His perplexing parables. His final meal. His agonizing last hours. The uncertainty of Saturday. The joy of Sunday morning.
It is a week of central significance to anyone claiming to be, or aspiring to be, a disciple of Jesus. One of my favorite weeks as a pastor. Also one of the busiest.
This year spring break for DC public schools coincided exactly with Holy Week. We decided to head to Florida, even though that meant we’d miss out on some of the Holy Week excitement. Our community in DC is joining a collective outdoor Easter worship service sponsored by a DC area ministry, Restore Together. An exciting collaboration between local churches, seeking to collaborate on issues of oppression and poverty in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I’m sad to miss it.
But I needed a Holy Week of another sort. One which involves playing in the pool with my children. Teaching my ten-year-old to play tennis. Finding seashells with my five-year-old daughter. Reading and silence in the quiet cool of a Florida morning. A game of Settlers, after which we have time for… another game of Settlers.
So after celebrating Palm Sunday with our Roots DC friends, we hopped in the car and headed south, for a non-traditional Holy Week.
We won’t be joining a Maundy Thursday service, or partaking in a seder. We may have a meal of burgers on the grill and soda instead of unleavened bread and wine.
Our Friday will be good if we can catch a boat ride to do some Florida wildlife viewing.
Our Saturday may be dark, if the weather is cloudy, but it may also be sunny and bright and filled with laughter and giggles.
Our Easter morning may not involve a sunrise service, but it may find us celebrating the resurrection by dipping our toes in the ocean, or tossing a frisbee on the sand.
Perhaps this is a sacrilegious way to spend this particular week.
But now, midway through—as I get to catch my breath for the first time in months, as playing with my kids happens without the interruptions of phone calls or emails, as we enjoy a leisurely breakfast as a family, as my spirit is beginning to feel rested and renewed—I’m thinking this too, is a Holy Week.