Rev Gary’s Faithful Blog Passion Week & Holy Week and on to Easter - and what’s Good about Good Friday??
Passion Week (also known as Holy Week) is the time from Palm Sunday through to Easter Day. This year Easter falls on the 21st April. So, Passion Week is 14th- 21st April. I am concerned that some people are not calling these days for what they are. Let’s try and break that habit!
Also included within Passion Week on Maundy Thursday (18th April) and Good Friday (19th April). This year, all of this happens whilst you are on holiday. I really hope you get to see this blog and remember the real importance of these days whilst you are off school.
Why is this week, the most Holy and most special of week of the Christian year, called Passiontide or Passion week? Let me describe the week first.....
Passion Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. On this day, the people welcomed Jesus and waved palm leaves, the red carpet treatment of the day I suppose. We remember that by the giving and receiving of palm crosses. Come and join the church and villages as we do that on Sunday 14th April - meet us at the Madresfield Early Years Centre (one big service for the four churches this year) at 10:45am (service starts in church at 11am). A pony will be on our walk this year!
Passion Week contained several memorable events. Jesus “sorted out” the Temple – big time. Jesus had His Last Supper with His disciples in the upper room and left us with Holy Communion as a lasting remembrance of Him in our lives- a meal that church services have every week as the Communion.
Jesus then went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray as He waited for His hour to come. He knew what was going to happen so that made it all the more harder. It was here that Jesus, having been betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to trials before the chief priests and Pontius Pilate
Following the trials, Jesus was tortured at the hands of the Roman soldiers, then was forced to carry His own instrument of execution (the Cross) through the streets of Jerusalem.
Jesus was then crucified at Golgotha on what we know as Good Friday . He was buried and remained in the tomb until Sunday, the day after the Jewish Sabbath, and then gloriously resurrected. He is risen indeed - alleluia!
May be this is a good point to say - what is Good about Good Friday instead of “Bad Friday” or something similar?
Some Christian traditions do take this approach: in German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag or “Sorrowful Friday.” In English, in fact, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.”
Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins. If you are around, why not come to he Breakfast Café at St James Church (Callow End) on Good Friday - Friday 19th April (0930-1130) for crafty church, hot X buns and some time to ponder the importance of that day.
And that links us back to Passion and Passion Week. Christians believe that Jesus truly revealed His passion for us in the suffering He willingly went through on our behalf. So, it’s all about Love then….
What should our attitude be during Passion Week?
We should be passionate in our love of Jesus in our lives. As He suffered for us, so should we be willing to give thanks and proclaiming the message of His death and resurrection to all we love and meet in our lives.
And that is what new life is all about - and maybe why Easter imagery is full of chicks, eggs and bunnies, spring flowers and hopefully we can all see through the Cross to that new life.
And with that in mind, join us on the Old Hills at 12noon on Easter Sunday (21st April) for Easter Egg rolling.
Plenty to think and pray about. And I hope you will.
A Blessed and Joyous Easter to you, when it comes. He is Risen Indeed? Alleluia!
Rev Gary 5th April 2019