Monday, March 25, 2024

Holy Week Reflections

This post may be all over the place, but bear with me. This time of year holds immense significance for me as a Christian and an ordinary individual. Both of these things coincide with the timing behind my book.

Sunday, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week culminates with Jesus' resurrection on the following Sunday, what we call Easter Sunday. The events that happened this week are the bedrock of the Christian faith. Sometimes, traditions can wear thin when you've been part of a tradition for a while. You participate in the celebrations, but the reasons aren't always at the top of your mind. Sadly, there have been some Easters where I only focused on my outfit, what the children would wear, or the dinner menu. But this year, my spiritual purpose has reawakened. There's a more profound desire to express praise because of what happened that first week.

One of the things prompting this reawakening is being in connection with a body of believers where we feel jointly knit. It's hard to explain, but authentic Christian fellowship buoys my spirit.

Interestingly enough, I got married on Easter Saturday thirty-five years ago. We landed on this date because the venue was available, and most people could travel from overseas on that day. Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Resurrection, is quiet. Jesus is in the tomb, and no one knows what to expect. It is a day of waiting, prayer, and fasting. While the world waited, we married; we chose this day thirty-five years ago to start our life together.

Fourteen years into our marriage, my last child was born on our anniversary. So this year, we celebrate her coming-of-age birthday and our milestone anniversary.

Today in church, we focused on God's majesty, magnitude, and mystery. The pastor mentioned that two-thirds of the gospel of John focuses on the last week of Jesus' life. I understand that sentiment because when I re-read the book of John four years ago, I was struck by the magnitude of Jesus' words in the upper room to his disciples. I was so moved that I was led to write The Comfort of Night. The more I meditated on the words, the more I had to put pen to paper. It was not a quick process either because after researching a word or phrase, I spent significant time pondering how to capture what God laid on my heart on the page. I'm touched by Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet and Judas' question to Jesus after he says one of you will betray me, and Judas asked, "Jesus, is it I?" Then, after Judas left, Jesus encouraged them for a couple of hours, culminating in his prayer for the disciples. I'm encouraged by Jesus' words, knowing He knew what he would face in the next 24 hours. It reminds me that no matter how tough things are, we can lean in on our Heavenly Father to provide the encouragement and comfort we need. Because He encourages us, we can encourage others.

Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?' - John 11:25-26

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

As I start this week, I'm celebratory and pensive, and I give God thanks for everything.

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  1. I can see why this week is so meaningful for you, Nylse; it is for me as well. My husband and I got married on March 26 and we're celebrating 30 years today. Then five years ago, my mom died on Good Friday. It was April 19 that year, but I've always associated her death more with Good Friday than the actual date. I'm thankful that as the grief has softened, Good Friday has become more special to me. Anyway, happy 35th anniversary to you and your husband and happy 21st birthday to your daughter. And a hearty amen to this: "Because He encourages us, we can encourage others." ♥️

  2. A very meaningful time, unlike Christmas. And particularly significant for you. Easter Monday is a joyful day. Happy Easter!


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