The beginning of Holy Week or Passion Week in the Church. Growing up in The Salvation Army church Easter season meant Palm Sunday celebration, Good Friday service and always a Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday.
Then came Ron and Carol. They were our pastors for five years merging some more traditional parts of the “church” with Salvation Army tradition. They brought a deeper meaning and purpose to this time of year. We had Ash Wednesday service (even though Ron managed to singe his eyebrows and set off smoke alarms) and began to recognize the period of Lent. They added to that a Seder Feast during Holy Week and we learned the historical significance of the Last Supper and saw the bridge between the Old and New.
It’s curious this week would also be referred to as Passion Week. Again, we’ve corrupted a word to make it more salacious rather than its definition of a strong emotion which can also be anger and hatred. In recent years I’ve heard too many young people talk about their passion and the question asked by speakers and leaders “What’s your passion?” Really? Passion? Such a strong word for people who are fickle and can have strong emotions over an ice cream flavor. How often I throw the words “love” and “hate” around. Strong words ascribed to trivial things. My passion pales in comparison to Christ who I envision being passion. His emotions the deepest. His love for us, more than humanly possible. His hate of sin…..as deep and passionate.
We have many things in place this week to introduce the men to an interactive week of remembering or learning the significance of this particular week. Our Palm Sunday celebration will commence with several men carrying palm branches down the aisles as Prepare Ye, from Godspell, plays. We’ll stand together proclaiming “Hosanna! who to He who comes in the name of the Lord”. But that will just be the beginning.
The beginning of a week we pray will bring an understanding to all of us of the sacrifice God made by giving His Son. What an awesome opportunity for us to share with them. To share in community. This is the true communion.