- About Grace
Reflecting on Holy Week
On March 27, 2014
by the Rev. Doris Westfall, Associate Rector
Holy Week is the last week of Lent and focuses our attention on Jerusalem and the final days of Jesus. We come together and be part of the community that gathered for his triumphal entry yelling, “Hosanna in the Highest! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!” Just a few days later we will be part of the crowd who will deny him and ask for Barabbas to be spared rather than asking that our Savior be spared.
We are every bit as responsible for the denying of Christ as Peter and every bit as responsible for the betrayal of Christ as Judas. When we deny this fact we start down a slippery slope of shifting responsibility onto others and of seeing ourselves in a self-serving light.
But something more happens, too. When we deny our responsibility in these events, we down-play the immensity of God’s gift to us in the resurrected Christ. It is only in recognizing the enormity of our sin that we can truly experience the enormity of God’s grace. It is only in living the events of Holy Week that we can understand and truly live the joy of Easter.
John Newton, a former slave ship owner turned abolitionist who wrote the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” was known to say, “I know only two things. The first is that I am a great sinner. The second is that I have a great Savior.” It is because of the first that we need to have the second.
My wish for all of us is that the week preceding Easter will indeed by Holy and that in recognizing our part in the great story of salvation, in recognizing our great sinfulness, we can also recognize the great Savior that has been given to us in the risen Christ.
I wish you blessings,