Holy Week: The Same, and Different

Holy Week: The Same, and Different

It will be the same.
It will be different. 
This week in our sacred story we encounter the whole range of human emotion.  The events of Holy Week are powerful from Palm Sunday to Temple confrontations, to healings to quiet days in Bethany, to the Last Supper’s intimacy, to Gethsemane’s agony, to disciples falling asleep, then betraying, denying and abandoning Jesus. 
It moves on to the drama and cruelty of a mock trial, public shame, brutality, torture and a slow death. 
From there it goes to hiding in rooms in fear and uncertainty, an empty tomb, disbelieving disciples, angelic appearances, women at the grave and a resurrected Jesus. 
The earth shakes.   The human soul shudders.
Our health care professionals are saying this will be a hard and sad week.  We’ll approach the predicted peak of pandemic infections.  Its impact on health care is frightening. We’ll be walking into the midst of all those emotions capture in our sacred story.  

Dear church, I am worried for you.  Dear clergy, serving in churches and specialized settings, I am worried about you.  You are trying to do extraordinary work: ZOOMing and Facebooking communion, and palms and resurrection.  You are responding to the fear and anxiety of your congregation.  You’re adapting your community ministries to new needs and restrictions.  And you’re coping with physical distancing in those times when folks need a reassuring touch and a comforting hug.  You, who carry with empathy the emotions and stories of others, are also experiencing your own.   I worry about you. 

I also believe in you. 

You are a Resurrected Jesus people.  You know that there is more on the other side of Good Friday and Maundy Thursday.  You know there is even more on the other side of Resurrection.  And you know you still have to get through this moment; this era that we have not encountered in our life times and did not prepare for in ‘church administration’ and ‘fundamentals of Biblical theology’.  And we all know we will only get through this with each other and with God. 

We also know what we don’t know. We are on a steep learning curve together in this new uncharted territory which is full or faithful and wise insight along with the uncertainty and struggle. 

We’ve got a few workshops coming up that we hope will be helpful.

Watch our emails, Facebook and website for a set of workshops on pastoral care in a time of national mourning.  We’ll learn about the complexities of grief during the scope of pandemic of this scale.

Keep an eye out for a workshop on the elements and skills of spiritual care during times of disaster.  Disasters, like pandemics, bring unique challenges to the ways we need to be doing spiritual care. Some upcoming offerings: And stay tuned for some tips and techniques on how to provide online grief groups for your church and community.  Grief groups are such a gift and there are ways to do them when the physical distancing of ‘social distancing’ is in effect.  Information will be posted in our Grief Resources section.

And there is more to come.  We keep anticipating, adapting and catching up as we move together through this time. 

Holy Week is our core story.  It centers us not just in some future hope, but in the certainty of a God of compassion who is walking with us right now. Take time, make time, this week to be present to that.   May all that Holy Week is, touch and restore the deepest part of your soul, even in the midst of all that you are doing.    And remember, You are Beloved of God!  



Don H. Remick

Don Remick is Bridge Conference Minister.

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