IF ever there was a time in the year for our understanding and love for Jesus Christ to grow, surely it is in the next few days.
Starting on Sunday, we go through what Christians call Holy Week in the seven days before Easter.
These coming days show us what Jesus is like – and what the Christian life is like – in a nutshell.
It’s a life of gentleness in the midst of violence, of understanding in the face of hatred, of joy in the midst of sorrow.
The days of Holy Week are not an exercise in Christian living, but rather an adventure in love, as we recall visibly the whole process of God’s saving love.
We physically re-enact events from 2,000 years ago, meaning that we touch and hear and taste some of the things Jesus would have experienced.
On Palm Sunday, we recall Jesus’s procession into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Our ears ring with the hosannas and our arms ache from waving our palm crosses, just as if we were there.
On Maundy Thursday, we remember the last supper shared with His apostles. We re-enact that moment when he showed us how to love others by washing His disciples’ feet.
We repeat that beautiful prayer that Jesus prayed that night, which we now know as the Mass, Holy Communion or Eucharist.
And, just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest, we also watch and wait together, holding a vigil in church.
On Good Friday, we remember how His mother, Mary, and the crowds stood at the foot of the cross as Jesus surrendered His life to death.
We too stand silently in church, visualising Jesus’s sacrifice.
On Saturday night, as darkness falls, we gather outside the church building bearing unlit candles in our hands.
The priest carries the Easter candle into the church and those candles are all lit, flooding the dark church with light.
The ceremony is a beautiful symbol of the way light drives out darkness in our lives, and how Jesus’s resurrection gives us the hope of new life.
You are welcome to share in this adventure in love with us.
Full details of our Holy Week services can be found at sspeterandpaulfareham.org.