Holy Week

It is Wednesday of Holy Week. Tomorrow night we will gather in the sanctuary to remember the Last Supper, and to hear the story of Jesus' betrayal, abandonment, trial and execution. We will leave the sanctuary in darkness and silence.

 

Why?! Why do we do this macabre ritual every year? Why remember the suffering and fear and death, when we could just focus on the happy, joyful, pleasant things?

 

There are many ways to answer that question, from the religious to the psychological to the political, but this week I answer it this way: We need to feel our "negative feelings", and Holy Week is a vehicle to feel them and name them, while held in the safe container of our faith and the unending love of God.

 

As an article in Psychology Today states:

"Denying negative feelings long term is harmful because it can prevent people from processing their emotions and overcoming their distress... As the famous Robert Frost saying goes, “The best way over is through.” Feeling all of our emotions in full, whether positive or negative, is part of being human and navigating the world. Emotional suppression doesn’t only fail to resolve the underlying problem, but it can also breed guilt, shame, sadness, and anxiety. It can even backfire by magnifying suppressed feelings."

 

So join us for Maundy Thursday, or join our neighbors at Ballard Vale for Good Friday. Or read the end of Mark's gospel. I invite us to engage with this week for the healing truth that it offers us. Because we are promised that new life always comes... "And very early on the first day of the week..."