Today begins the 4th week of schools closed and being asked to stay home, wash your hands, don't touch your face, and if you're out stay at least 6 feet apart. We're finding our own new rhythms of life. Yesterday marked the beginning of Holy Week. I've always loved the rhythm of this week. From the Palm Procession and remembering of how Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. From here we usually are making plans for when we will arrive on the following days to prepare for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I know these rhythms so very well. Even though I am tired come Easter afternoon - I know what to do when. And yet - that knowledge won't help me or anyone else in preparing for the most unusual Holy Week in any of our lives.
Holy Week has specific readings not just for Thursday & Friday but for the whole week. We're usually so very busy preparing for the rest of the week that we miss the important steps early in the week. I choose this week to see possibilities in our current situations. And while I see possibilities I am also acknowledging the grief that comes with what we are losing: we do not get to gather together; we do not get to wash each other's feet; we will not feast together around the table; the altar will not be striped; we will not leave in silence; we will not gather at the cross singing; we will not flower the cross.
Monday of Holy Week is always the anointing of Jesus' feet by Mary found in John 12:1-11. "Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." I can only imagine the smell in the house with a pound of perfume having been broken open and poured on Jesus' feet. Can you almost smell it?
Jesus knew what was coming even though others did not get it. Mary offered a gift that cost her. In the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, as Mary anoints Jesus' feet she sings:
Try not to get worried
Try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh
Don't you know?
Everything's alright yes
And we want you to sleep well tonight
Let the world turn without you tonight
If we try we'll get by
So forget all about us tonight
As we prepare for this week - I'm choosing to keep this song in my heart. Let us pray: Gracious God, in this Holy Week, help us set aside our worry and problems that upset us so that we may walk with you to Calvary. In Jesus Name, Amen.