For months, I have been proclaiming the value of Bible study.
Holy Week offers us a different kind of opportunity: one that is all about experiencing our reading. We gather in worship to read our story: the story of a man known as Jesus of Nazareth.
Palm Sunday is an old tradition. In much more recent years, we have taken to remembering the Passion on the same day. That seems to cloud the story for me. We fast forward, skipping important story to race to the end, only moments after proclaiming Jesus’ triumphal entry.
It is clearly (and perhaps intentionally) jarring.
It is also utilitarian. It means people don’t have to actually mark Holy Week in any way. They can show up on Sunday and still get the story. But the Passion isn’t the whole story.
Scripture isn’t just for memorizing or reading aloud in church. It is about communication. It is about common experience. And it is about knowing Christ.
This year, I invite all of us to enter each day of Holy Week with intention and focus, remembering how each day unfolds for Jesus. This begins with Palm Sunday. The day Jesus enters Jerusalem. And continues with the event at the Temple, public teaching, and anointing: three profound days all but ignored liturgically. We will cover those days when we gather for worship Wednesday night.
That means, we will save the Passion for Good Friday. Leaving Palm Sunday free to kick off the week.