By Rachel Gunter Shapard
Along with many others in the Western Christian tradition, last Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday – a Christian feast or holy day that signifies the beginning of Holy Week. We now find ourselves in the midst of some of Christianity’s highest holy days.
At this time each year we focus on the Passion of Christ and the events that led up to it. We move out of the celebration of Palm Sunday and into the depths of the Holy Week experience for we cannot leap from one feast day to the next, from one festivity to the ultimate celebration of our faith, without first walking the road to the cross.
The path to Golgotha is not an easy road to walk. It is not pleasant to remember the suffering and the anguish that our Lord endured. It is challenging and troublesome and it leaves us in an uncomfortable and vulnerable place when we gaze upon the work of God in Christ during his last days. Yet there is no other road that will lead us to the celebration of Easter but the one inlayed with tears.
This Holy Week which began with shouts of great joy has become a time for solemnity. May we not neglect the narrative of the Passion of Christ this week. (You can find daily readings for Holy Week here.)
If we commit to walking our own journey to the cross alongside the person of Jesus, there is no discerning what we might find along the way or what might be transformed in us as we travel. No two experiences will be alike, but one thing is certain: our hallelujahs will ring out much louder, much truer and far deeper on the other side for having taken the journey.
Rachel Gunter Shapard serves as the Associate Coordinator of CBF of Florida.