Holy Week is hard for me. I want so badly to make it a wonderful week of devotional study and penitent prayer…but when you work in a church, it’s so very difficult. I don’t believe that Easter is the most important Sunday. We should celebrate Easter every Sunday.
But in reality? Easter is the biggest Sunday. There’s a lot to do for Holy Week and for the Easter Service. It’s an all hands on deck kind of week with teams of volunteers and staff working together to create, celebrate and participate together (and sometimes things fall apart or need extra attention–that’s happened some this week).
I always get to Maundy Thursday worship and think–Already it’s here? Â And then I feel guilty because I haven’t been a very reverent participant of Holy Week. And so, in the next 72 hours, I will try to quiet down and prepare. I’ve spent Lent preparing through worship, prayer and fasting and now I will attempt to reclaim Holy Week as a time to turn my heart toward the Holy One.
See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at him
â€”so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortalsâ€”
so he shall startle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of theÂ LordÂ been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected byÂ others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our ownÂ way,
and theÂ LordÂ has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.
They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in hisÂ mouth.
Yet it was the will of theÂ LordÂ to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of theÂ LordÂ shall prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall seeÂ light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself toÂ death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.