This is a holy week, a time of remembrance for both Christians and Jews ~ of what was, what is and what will be. Both celebrate the renewal of life and hope ~ one from death and the other from slavery.
The Christian Holy Week is a solemn time as Christians remember the days leading up to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday:
- Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week and commemorates the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem where palms were blessed and laid down for Him to walk on;
- Maundy Thursday commemorates Passover, the Last Supper. It is a day of reconciliation, a consecration of holy oils and a washing of the feet (an ancient rite, commemorating Christ’s washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper to illustrate humility and the spirit of service);
- Good Friday commemorates the day of Christ’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and burial;
- Holy Saturday is the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in his tomb; and
- Easter Sunday is the most joyous Christian celebration, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus.
This is also a holy week for those of the Jewish faith as Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 6. This is an eight-day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II.
A Seder is prepared with special foods, songs and customs that follow a set order, and the story of Passover is retold through the reading of the Haggadah. During the Seder, four glasses of wine are poured to represent the four stages of the exodus:
- Redemption; and
A fifth cup of wine is poured and placed on the Seder table as an offering for the Prophet Elijah.
Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover or the season of Spring, this is a perfect time to remember the gift of life we do have. How lucky we are that we can celebrate freely what and who we may believe in. And to also take some time to think of what may still stop us from reaching for our dreams, our passion, what we believe our destiny is as Christ and the Israelites believed in their destinies.
I would think there were a few times when Jesus was scared, as well as the Israelites. But for all, the fear never stopped them. They knew there was something more to life, there was a sense of renewal and purpose that guided them. When I feel scared, I take deep breaths, staying very aware of what is scaring me and holding onto my faith that I will get to the other side of the fear.
What do you do when you’re afraid? When you know there’s something new you want to bring into your life, but you feel scared, how do you get through it?
You block your dream
when you allow your fear
to grow bigger than your faith.
~ Mary Manin Morrissey