Growing up singing in my church’s children’s choir, I always looked forward to Holy Thursday Mass. The special hymns and rituals, especially the foot washing, created an atmosphere of reverence and awe that captivated me.
It’s never felt right to be anywhere but in church between 12:00 and 3:00 on Good Friday. The Stations of the Cross, the veneration of the cross, and the liturgy…It’s simply Good Friday to me.
And Easter Sunday? From the donning of particularly fancy clothing for Mass to the sound of alleluias ringing through the church, it’s been truly celebratory.
Observing Holy Week has always been a part of my life, though my understanding of it has grown and transformed over time. It’s gone from familiar practice to personal desire to heart overhaul. Last year, Holy Week impacted me more than ever. God impressed on me the meaning of the cross for me personally–how He took on the sins perpetrated against me that effected widespread brokenness in my mind, body, and spirit. It was a gigantic leap forward in healing and understanding the freedom He won for me.
This year, I’ve been trying to lean in close and listen to what He wants to stir in me. I think it’s two things: making room and resurrection power.
In discussing the issue of sinful humanity, words like “wretched” and “depraved” often arise. Neither words have ever convicted my heart or drawn me closer to Christ. On the contrary, they’ve carried shame and condemnation.
What resonates with me is this: God delights in us and loves us wildly beyond comprehension. He is kindness and mercy…and I don’t think He thinks of us as wretched.
I’m realizing His is a way of invitation to cast off sins–without shame or condemnation. Humility and surrender, yes. Confession, repentance and change, yes. Indictment of who we are at our core, no.
His is a process of clearing out the room taken up by sin in order to fill it with His love and resurrection power. It addresses our choices and behavior separately from our worth and identity.
I want to be drained of what hinders me from receiving a full measure of His grace, love, favor and the resurrection power of the Christ who lives in me and makes all things new.
How has this holy season changed your heart?
What has Jesus been stirring in you?
Coming your way on Wednesday:
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