This musing is provided by Steve Bunt, Redeemer’s Senior Warden. To see all of our Holy Week services visit: http://redeemer-irving.org/holy-week-2017/
Holy Week stands in stark contrast to the protracted season leading up to Christmas. Even Wal-Mart closes its doors for Christmas, though one could question if it is to truly recognize the birth of the King. Christmas is the holiday of acceptance and joy, both of which do not challenge the powers of this world as the message of Christ can be easily defused to one of secular, human dimension. What threat is a child to the world? Those who recognized His birth showed little staying power. The shepherds went back to their fields, the Magi went home, and all waited for Easter to come. Notably, Herod got it, although he got it wrong. He saw the threat the baby Jesus posed, and scripture tells us that innocent infants paid the price.
The days of His betrayal and death on the cross leading to Easter receive little recognition in the secular world. They are challenging days to our culture as they point out our powerless nature in the face of the world and the true countercultural nature of Christianity. As Christmas is about acceptance, Easter is about Redemption. Redemption is difficult for the secular world to grasp as it involves seeing what the world is now and what it is to become. Such judgement is necessary to call out evil, hold society accountable, and define the covenant relationship we are to grow into. Such judgement is difficult, something society wishes to avoid. This judgement comes from prayer, study of scripture, and faith that the whole world is to be redeemed by Jesus and His death. We are not called to be self-righteous but to acknowledge the need for redemption in this life. It is Jesus that calls us, not we Him, which runs counter to the idea that God exists to fill a place in our hearts. We are to live with Him and for Him each day. Shall we start at Easter?