Dear friends, The marketing director who decided to call it "Holy Week" should get fired. For the title readily conjures images of self-declared holy folks gathering to perform their peculiar religious ceremonies, accessible only to an inside few. The unspoken assumption: You've got to be holy to enter this story. Nothing could be further from the truth. In his song, Strange Way, Welsh singer-songwriter, Martyn Joseph, sings: "And so unlike the holy to end up full of holes." I think he's singing about Jesus. Whose hands and side were marked with holes so that you and I could finally look at God and recognize we aren't so far apart: God's got holes, and so do I. Almost to a person, the so-called "holy" folks of the gospels are united against Jesus. By contrast, it is those who recognize their holes who are drawn to him: ...a crowd of poor people who raised their voices, gave the coat off their backs, and joined the strangest parade you've ever seen. ...a fickle and impetuous young adult who promised to stick with Jesus to the end, only to deny three times in a row that he even knew him. ...a terrorist hung on the cross next to Jesus, whose dying wish was to be remembered. ...a brave woman who, despite the disbelief and taunts of her fellow disciples, knew what she saw at the empty tomb. I can say without exaggeration that journeying through Holy Week has saved my life more than once. I love Holy Week not because I'm holy but because I'm not. Because I'm reminded I don't have to be: that the only requirement to enter this story is to know you are full of holes. And through some Power beyond my comprehension God can take those who are full of holes and bind and heal and send them off to do God's work in the world.
Think of one or two people in your life who might need to hear of God's power and love for them. Then consider forwarding them this invitation. Together, join us as we make this story our own. See you in Hole-y Week. Yours truly in Christ, Andrew The Rev. Andrew Federle
Rector, St. Clement's Church, Toronto