Holy Week reflections: The greatest story ever told
Published 11:47 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022
In the Christian tradition, commemorating the events leading up to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the holiest week of the year.
This year, in Carter County and Elizabethton crosses have sprung up on lawns of churches, businesses, and home as a result of a call by the Freedom from Religious Foundation to remove the three crosses from Lynn Mountain because they are located on city property. The group claims it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
It’s hard to believe that if they did not see the message of the cross as a threat, that a group miles away in Wisconsin that had never seen the crosses on Lynn would be so offended by three crosses on a mountain at the edge of a small Tennessee town. The cross has a way of offending people especially if you are not a believer. But, for the believer the cross is a message of faith, hope, and victory, and more than ever, that message is not only being delivered from three crosses on Lynn Mountain and another three crosses on Fitzsimmons Hill north of town, but from crosses that have sprung up all over town.
Thursday, celebrated as Maundy Thursday by Christians, there will be the celebration of Jesus presiding over The Last Supper with His 12 disciples, then retiring to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was betrayed by Judas and arrested by officials from the chief priests and tried before the Sanhedrin. He was brought before Pontius Pilate, who convicted Jesus for treason. Consequently, He was forced to walk the “via dolorosa,” carrying his wooden cross toward Golgotha. There He was “crucified, died and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead.”
The resurrection of Christ is the linchpin of Christianity, its core belief — without it, Christian faith is meaningless.
As we celebrate Holy Week 2022, the COVID pandemic has dissipated, the restrictions on public gatherings for the most part have been lifted. During the pandemic, it was spiritually challenging, not being able to gather as a community in our local churches for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This Easter the restrictions have been lifted, and we are fully able to worship together again.
Holy Week is our week and we have to work at making it holy. It is holy because of the events of salvation that are remembered during the week.
The liturgical ceremonies of Holy Week are not a reenactment of the events surrounding the passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather, through them we enter into the mystery by which the Lord gained for us our salvation. It is not as if we are watching a drama or viewing a theatrical production. The Crucified-Risen Lord is present as is the gift of salvation. May this Holy Week be a time of renewal and grace for each of us.
May Holy Week 2022 draw us closer to Christ who for our sakes died on the cross and was raised to life on the third day.
And, as you ride around town and your eyes are drawn to the many crosses draped in purple on lawns of churches and private homes remember what this season is all about and the threat to Christianity.