I found today’s reading especially inspiring. Most of us probably know or are related to someone with Alzheimer’s and have had thoughts, questions, observations and many prayers for those who have it as well as their caregivers. I found these words of Epperly’s very comforting, “God’s enduring love and unfailing memory remind us that we can believe on behalf of others, and others can believe on behalf of us. We can heal them by our healing words and touch and by singing hymns of faith, and vice versa.” I have seen that happen time and time again and know it is God at work in and through all of us. It is that assurance that can really give a peace and a joy that is soul-deep.
Today marks the end of week 5 of our Holy Adventure! One week left to go. But this is not any ordinary week. Tomorrow begins Holy Week. And Holy Week is a very important time in the spiritual and faith life of those who follow Jesus. Holy Week begins with recalling how Jesus entered Jerusalem on a young animal to the shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” It ends with his own beloved betraying him, denying him, the shouts of “Crucify him!”, death on a cross and burial in a tomb. Holy Week begins in hope and celebration and ends in darkness, death, and despair.
I would encourage each of you not to take the short-cut to Easter. Rather, allow yourself to go through the struggle and pain and darkness with Jesus so that the power and glory of Easter may be all the more amazing. Read, reflect, journal, do the spiritual exercises. Come to worship tomorrow for Palm Sunday, and again on Maundy Thursday (at First United Methodist Church, 7pm). Join the Good Friday procession at noon (starting at Bandshell park) as we, like Jesus carry the cross and hear the story of Jesus death. Sign up to be part of the Easter Prayer Vigil that begins at 1pm Friday and goes until 6am Sunday. Live fully in this Holy Adventure leading to Easter!