THE majority of Christians around the world call next week ‘holy’.
But why this particular week?
It’s the week in which we particularly focus on the events that led up to the barbarous execution of Jesus of Nazareth.
The word ‘holy’ means, essentially to set apart – so it is the week when we set some time apart to contemplate the momentous conclusion of Jesus’ life.
The original week started out well.
On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the waving of palm branches.
The crowd believed he was coming to save them – mainly from the oppressive Roman occupiers of their land.
However, shouts of ‘hosanna’ (or, ‘save us’) quickly turned into cries of ‘crucify him’ just a few days later.
That’s because, as the week unfolded, it became clear that Jesus was far more interested in saving people from themselves – from their legalistic religious practices, from their mistaken belief that violence would solve their problems, from their refusal to live according to the simple law of love that God had set in their hearts.
But people instinctively want to silence those who don’t automatically agree with their view of the world.
So the people nailed Jesus to a cross, to shut him up.
Their sins – which we often share – nailed him there.
At churches all over the area, we will be taking holy time, set-apart time, to re-live the powerful stories of Holy Week.
At St Faith’s Havant, that means that there will be a special service every evening – Monday to Thursday, at 7.30pm.
Then on Good Friday, with Christians from churches all over the town, we will process from church to church, re-living the story along the way.
We will start at Havant Methodist Church at 9.20am, and end up at St Faith’s around midday.
Holy Week ends on Easter Sunday with the explosive, earth-shattering news that Jesus overcame all that human evil could throw at him.
Death and suffering were transformed into new life – a promise for all humankind who will follow the ‘holy way’.
Why not join us to celebrate that fact?
n St Faith’s Church is in West Street, Havant.
For more information go to .stfaith.com.