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The Long Dark Week

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. It was all fanfare and Hosannas. Hard to believe how quickly things change. We go from yesterday's hurrahs to this long, dark week we call Holy.

It is the darkest hardest season of the church, but it is inevitable. We cannot have the Easter Resurrection without it.

The readings assigned for this week remind us of the prophecies and signs, deceptions and betrayals, hopes and fears of human kind. Jesus has bumped up against religious leaders who don't like to be challenged, don't want to hear the truth he speaks, and don't understand what he says. Challenge and lack of understanding do not sit well with some of us; when we don't understand we are afraid and when we are afraid we often fight.

The music of Holy Week includes some of my favorite pieces. Something about the minor keys and the dirge like rhythms penetrate my heart and envelop me in the melancholy of the week.

This piece seems like a good way to begin the week.

Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter's power; your Redeemer's conflict see, watch with him one bitter hour; turn not from his griefs away, learn of Jesus Christ to pray. Follow to the judgment hall; view the Lord of life arraigned; O the wormwood and gall! O the pangs his souls sustained! Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of him to bear the cross. Calvary's mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at his feet, mark the miracle of time, God's own sacrifice complete; "It is finished!" hear him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.

Tomorrow I will continue the exploration of this long dark week.

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