Weekly Word

Weekly Word




He came riding, on a donkey,

He came riding into town;

Slow and easy, kind of lonely,

He came riding with the dawn.


His disciples walked beside him,

Staying close, a little shy;

Not too sure where he would lead them,

On to live or on to die.






Each Palm Sunday, for the longest of times, I have entered the Sanctuary early in the morning, before anyone has arrived, and offered this song, written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company. It is a part of my prayer, my action, my pattern of entering into Holy Week, journeying the passion of Jesus, son of Mary, carpenter of Nazareth. The music, the lilt of the rhythms and the music set me to enter into a path of discovery and rediscovery. The Holy One ignites my experience, as for me, during this week, all time stands still. Story and song, custom and pattern interweave, and I remember weeks long past, and persons with whom I have journeyed in Holy Week.


There are so many memories: palms and singing, voices proclaiming, crowds and words, feelings and smells. Food, banners, cross, nails, tears and emotion. All of these experiences, over a lifetime of journeying as a participant and leader, listener and speaker, now change. This year palm is waved from afar. Stories are recounted in the companionship of a Bible in the hand, or on a video screen. Prayers are offered in the companionship of close family, without the familiarity of the place of worship and the community gathered around us. Remotely we see faces and hear voices, familiar words, prayer and song.


Holy Week this year will be both different and familiar for us, as it is each year. This time of intentional journey and exploration is nuanced by a deeper vulnerability and a deeper reality of both community and isolation. As in other times of crisis, both personally, and communally, certain words, prayer, song and story will resonate. We will hear and experience the Holy One, and the holy ones around us, in new and transformative ways.


Crucify will be shouted; tears will be shed. Images will overwhelm, and Jesus will be dead. In the recounting and journeying through palm, passion, meal, trial and crucifixion we will have opportunity to see ourselves, our family and community, within the stark reality of our time, and within the continued embrace of the compassionate Holy One.


In all this we are reminded that this week is a week of remembrance and thanksgiving for the journey of Jesus, which is a journey from palm to passion, through crucifixion to resurrection. It is the recounting of the act of redemption which those of us who walk the Christian life profess. It is the living of our reality that there is more to life that that which we see and experience in the present, proclaiming the depth of love and sacrifice that the Holy One embraces for the sake of the world.






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