The Fourth Sunday in Lent

March 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

At the Sunday Forum this week we will welcome Dr. Laura Moore for Part Two of her presentation on the origins and development of Holy Week observations.  Dr. Moore is a scholar of church history and last Sunday brought a wealth of knowledge and insight into how the rituals of the central week of the Christian year came to be and evolved.  Last week we made it all the way up to the Reformation.  For Part Two, Dr. Moore will turn our attention to the liturgical movements in the 20th century, and even how Grace Church participated in them.

We have entitled Dr. Moore’s two-part presentation, Toward a Holier Holy Week.  As I wrote last week (apologies for paraphrasing myself), “let’s admit it, many Christians are fully on board with Easter.  We kind of get Palm Sunday.  As for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday … well, these days often get lost in the bustle of another work week.  What are we missing by jumping from Palm Sunday to Easter, or simply dropping in on Easter Day?  What are the blessings of striving for a holier Holy Week?”  How would we be changed if we entered more deeply into the mighty acts of God that took place between Palm Sunday and Easter Day?

Allow me to suggest that in addition to sampling what it means to take a closer walk with Jesus, we might also develop a new lens through which we can see the troubled world today.  The cynics might say that our quaint rituals from the past are irrelevant to the current upheaval in the world.  Others would suggest that Holy Week directly addresses the movers and shakers of this and every generation.  The first Holy Week was intensely political.  It was about international politics, embodied in Pontius Pilate and the Roman occupation.  It was about the local politics of Herod and the Davidic dynasty.  It was about the religious politics of the High Priest Caiaphas and the Jerusalem temple.  By the end of the week Jesus would come face to face with all three of these figures.  What was he trying to accomplish when he rode into the thick of it astride a donkey on Palm Sunday?  Perhaps in contemplating the question we will gain new insight into God’s perspective on the world today.

The Sunday Forum is at 10 am in the reception room, and on Zoom.  The Guild of Bakers has been busy, and we will have breakfast treats to share.  Don’t miss it!

See you in church.

The Rev. J. Donald Waring