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Reflections on Holy Week

Girl on a bench

Two things stood out to me during Holy Week.

First, as I was getting ready for church on Maundy Thursday, I realized the stark contrast between how I was getting ready and what happened to Jesus after the Last Supper so many years ago.

I was fixing my hair and freshening my makeup, to remember the night that Jesus was taken to the courts, mocked, ridiculed, beaten, stripped bare, a crown of thorns placed on his head, and then mocked and beaten again. As I thought about this, I felt like it was rags I should have been going to church in, rather than nice clothes, combed hair, and fresh makeup. I felt like I had it all wrong.

Then on Good Friday, I ran some errands on the way to the church service I was attending at 7:00 pm. The errands took less time than I thought and I realized I’d probably be 30 minutes early. It had been a hectic week and I was feeling grateful to have time to center myself and pray before the service began. As I pulled into the parking lot, I was surprised to see it was already FULL. I was visiting another church and quickly checked the photo of the service times – the service had started at 6:00 p.m., not 7:00. I quickly parked and hurried to the doors, and down the hallway. As I approached the sanctuary doors I saw a security guard standing outside. I looked to my right and saw that chairs had been placed in front of a screen in the foyer for the overflow. Disappointed, I moved over to stand at the back of the chairs and watch, on a TV, the worship service and sermon taking place on the other side of the wall.

The lights were bright. A few people were walking around the large foyer or talking in small groups. It was distracting. I looked over at the doors to the sanctuary a few times. The guard was still there. But sometimes people were going in. After about 10 minutes I walked to the door. As I approached, the guard moved in front of me and told me it was 100% full. Disappointed and feeling awkward, I walked back to where I had been standing at the back of the chairs.

After the sermon, as the last song was being sung, people started to leave the service and I was able to enter the sanctuary. I stood at the back and sang half of the last song. It was incredible to see a room still so very full, as people held up their phones, with the flashlight shining. Oh, how I wish there’d been another song to sing. Another song to praise Jesus for what He did for me, what He did for all of us.

As I ran the next morning, I thought about the experience the night before. About the door to the sanctuary being blocked by a guard. It reminded me a little of going to Heaven. Oh, how terrible that would be to arrive at the gates of Heaven and be turned away. Only once it’s Heaven and eternity, there won’t be a room for the overflow. It will be Hell, where the longing to be in the presence of God and Jesus will last forever.

That Friday night I felt discomfort and longing over my mistake of being late. It was small. There are other bigger things I’ve done. Oh! I’m so grateful to love a God who not only promises to forgive us when we turn to Him, but also sent His Son, Jesus Christ to take on the weight of my sins; that His death would wash away my sins so I can live with Him forever. He already loves us and He promises forgiveness, redemption, and eternity for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

If you don’t know Jesus or haven’t accepted Him, I’d be happy to tell you about Him and the wonderful things He’s done and continues to do.


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