This past Sunday morning I walked from my office to the sanctuary at about 8 am to prepare for the morning worship service. I have come to immensely enjoy this time. My walk, although short, has become a quiet time of prayer before the busyness of Sunday mornings.
As I walk, I look around at the beauty of Unity’s campus, and I thank God for blessing this church. I notice the deep green fields to my left and silently thank God for the gift of nature.
My mind usually wanders to thinking about the upcoming tasks; things to do, people to talk to, lines to memorize. I carry my sermon with me, freshly printed. Consistently, my mind also centers on gratitude for this congregation. I think of the many different faces I will see in the pews and their stories of joy and heartbreak, struggle and overcoming. I thank God for them.
This past Sunday as I walked, I was stopped in my tracks by unexpected beauty.
The tree outside of the Education Building flowered with an array of pink petals (pictured above). Those petals fell in mass onto the sidewalk and pavement. I stopped and took a picture because this scene is one I want to remember. I’m not sure if the picture truly captures the magnificence of the morning light illuminating the shades of pink.
The image of the covered walkway began to speak to me in a metaphorical way. The sidewalk, usually so ordinary but now speckled with petals, reminded me that I was walking to church on no ordinary Sunday. It was Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. The walk that I have taken so many times before was different.
The image was inviting me anew to contemplate the beauty and grace that are present in the week before us.
Holy Week is a time each year where we remember, together as a community of faith, the events of the last week of Jesus’ life. This is no ordinary walk. Together, we journeyed through the celebration of Palm Sunday and the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Now, our walk continues.
Maundy Thursday— This Thursday at 7 pm, we will journey through Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. During this meal Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and asked us to do the same. We will have communion during this service. We will also participate in the historic tradition of the Stripping of the Chancel.
Good Friday— This Friday we are reminded of the way Jesus was betrayed by his close companions and chose to suffer a brutal death on the cross.
Easter Morning— Jesus’ disciples journeyed to the tomb at first light, only to discover that the tomb was empty. Our sunrise service is pre-recorded and offered online beginning at 7 am. The service will explore these themes.
At 9:30 am and 11 am we will celebrate the resurrection through services of praise and worship. The services are identical. Please come to the time that is most convenient for you, or watch online.
Do not treat this week as just another week. This week is holy. Cherish the opportunity to contemplate God’s beauty and grace that are on display through the events of this week.
See you on Thursday and Sunday!