The day we’ve been dreading has finally arrived. It’s here and we don’t know what to do with it. Do we run and hide? Or do we succumb to its pressure and surrender? What to do, what to do, what to do... What day is it?
It’s the day when LIFE GOES BACK TO NORMAL AFTER HOLY WEEK!
(insert dramatic pause)
That’s right. We’re now midway through the week after Easter and life is back in full swing. Back to work... back to meetings... back to traffic... back to posting pictures of your breakfast on Facebook and Twitter... you know, the normal routine.
If you’re not Orthodox, you might not fully get this but if you are, you know what I’m talking about. We spend a lot of time in church during Holy Week... A LOT! And while to the casual observer it may seem painful and slightly tortorous to attend church services in both the morning AND evening of every day during a single week, those who have tasted the depth and beauty of Pascha week will tell you that it’s the best week of the year!
And that was especially true for me this year. I’ve been doing this Holy Week thing for many years now and I honestly can say that this past week was the most special week of my life.
(not the most special DAY, but the most special WEEK; most special day of course would be either wedding day, or birth of kid day, or the day I came close to meeting Michael Jordan and almost had security take me away because I was screaming so loud...)
What made this past Holy Week so special was that I really really felt God’s Presence in a way I never had before. And I’m not the only one. Several people told me the same thing – that this year was different. It was really special. We gained so much. We learned so much. We experienced God so deeply and there truly is nothing better than that...
...but now what? What do we do now? Holy Week is over. Easter has come and gone. We’re knee-deep in work responsibilities and school exams and the day to day affairs that keep us occupied all day long.
So is that it? Is it all done now? Was it just a “Holy Week thing” and that’s it? Or is there a way we can keep what we gained... and not only keep it but GROW it and continue to add to it and continue this path of experiencing God’s beauty and richness even past Easter?
Is it possible or not?
YOU BET IT IS! Jesus didn’t stop living after Holy Week and neither do we! Actually, this is when the real life begins!
But how? How do we do it? I believe the answer lies in Jesus’ final words to His disciples on the night when He was betrayed and arrested and taken to be crucified.
Jesus began by addressing the condition that He knew His disciples would soon find themselves – a condition we can all relate to after a powerful Pascha week:
“Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.” (John 13:33)
Doesn’t that express how we so often feel in our spiritual lives? Jesus is somewhere and we can’t get there. We felt Him during Pascha week for a little, but now He’s gone and we’re back to feeling lost or alone or far away.
But look at what He says next:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
He talks about love. He says that you can’t be with Me where I’m going, but I will be with you when you WALK IN LOVE.
Love is the answer. Love is how we can keep what we gained. Love is how we continue to walk with Jesus in both His death and His resurrection.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love His brother abides in death.” (1 John 3:14)
This Sunday, we begin a new series at The Well called “LOVE IS.” We’re going to spend five weeks talking about what love is (hence the title) and how we can walk in it. We’re not talking about our human ideas of love (I love my wife, I love my dog, I love bacon egg and cheese biscuits, etc.); we’re talking about real love… love like Jesus… love that moves keeps us moving from death to life.
“No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” (1 John 4:12)
Join us for the kickoff of “Love Is.” this Sunday and discover the mystery of love and how to continue to abide in God’s Presence even after Holy Week has ended.