“All Are Welcome In This Place”

Grieving in the midst of Holy Week

Well……it’s been awhile since I wrote my introductory blog on our new website.   Believe me, I have sat down at my computer a number of times, but the screen remained blank.  I think it is because that, often during times like these, it’s hard to find the “right words”.  But, as I think about it more, perhaps there are no “right words”.  Many of us are simply living in the midst of grief.  We are grieving the deaths of so many people from COVID 19.  We are grieving the change in our lifestyle, the loss of our jobs, and the disappearance of what was “normal” and “safe”.  We are grieving the loss of the regular patterns of school, interactions with friends, and worshipping physically together in places of worship.  For some people, there exists layers upon layers of grief. 

So, what are we to do in times like these – especially when we are in the midst of Holy Week?  What if we can’t seem to find it in us to experience the joy and hope of the resurrection?   A few thoughts might help….First, be honest.  Allow yourself to feel exactly what you are feeling.  Don’t let anyone deny you your feelings.  We need time and space to process our grief.  Second, be affirmed.  You’re in good company.  Even God experiences grief.  In the creation story, God looks at all the wickedness and violence in the world, and He is filled with grief. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the Bible tells us that he wept.  Thirdly, be uplifted.  Don’t be alone in your grief.  The Bible tells us that it is not good for us to be alone.  Even in the midst of “social distancing”, seek out creative ways to reach out to others.  Make a phone call.  Write a note.  Use the marvels of current technology to be in relationship with people who inspire you.  Lastly, be encouraged.  The story of Holy Week is that you are part of God’s story.  Yes, that story is filled with moments of hardship, anxiety, pain, and grief.  But the Resurrection of Jesus reminds us that our story will not be one of unending grief.  Because the Easter tomb is empty, we can say “O death, where is your victory.  O death, where is your sting”.  Our story of pain and grief can be healed.  Our story can be transformed.  Our story can continue with an renewed sense of joy. 

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and Easter that transforms your life.