This week as believers, we celebrate highest highs and lowest lows in the pivotal moments of our faith. Today we meet Christ with shouts of “Hosanna!” and wave palm branches of praise to welcome him to Jerusalem.
But what we welcome Him to is actually the beginning of the end; we praise Him into Gethsemane, we usher him to the mount of Calvary. And even as we shout with joy today, our hearts know what this week holds – the Last Supper, Good Friday, the dark silence of Saturday.
And in those lowest lows, we grieve. We are sad. Our shouts are silenced.
But oh, the glory that awaits us. Oh, the joy that is coming. Oh, for Sunday morning with the Light breaks through the darkness, and our shouts return, this time with eternity in the strains, for this time we will shout to a risen Savior; this time to a everlasting Lord; this time “Hosannas” without end.
This is Holy Week.
Last year, on Good Friday, I shared these thoughts. This still ring true today
There is something palpable about the beauty and mystery of Good Friday. Sometimes, it is our tendency to shield our children from these dark emotions, from the sadness and the heaviness of the crucifixion.
I realize that they won’t understand it all. I know that it could make them sad. I understand that they are young. But the depth of understanding goes beyond our emotions on this day. When we allow ourselves to remember the darkness of this day, the sadness of this moment that, if we are truly honest, not one of us completely understands, we create space for God to do a deeper work that our minds can understand.
Children are young. Cognitively they don‘t understand. But their hearts are attuned to God’s love. Their understanding of spiritual things goes deeper than we adults sometimes give them credit for.
Throughout Scripture, we are told that infants praise him, the faith of children is pure, little ones know him, and we should be like them. In children, the kingdom of God is made manifest so, trust me, they may not understand the theology, but they understand the heart of God and the love that was given.
Ever been outside when a storm rolls away and the sun breaks through? Does it ever shine brighter in that moment?
On Good Friday, we experience sadness. But only for a moment.
Because on Sunday we will experience unspeakable joy.
No matter the depth of sorrow we feel on Friday, our rejoicing on Sunday will far exceed those limits. And if we want our children to truly know the JOY that is Easter, we must let them also experience the sorrow that is Good Friday.
It’s okay for them to feel. Feel with them. It’s okay for them to cry. Cry with them.
BUT, cry with hope. Feel with expectation.
And Sunday morning, before eggs and bunnies and chocolate and flowers, before dinners and tulips and fancy dresses and suits and ties, before all of that… let them experience the OVERWHELMING, LIFE-CHANGING, HEART-POUNDING Joy of crying out, “He. Is. RISEN!!”
Rejoice! Cry out! Dance a little. Celebrate with your kids in a way you never have before. Let joy swell in your hearts and come out as shouts of praise. Let them experience all the wonder and mystery wrapped up in God’s love for us on these three days. Don’t let it just pass by unnoticed. Don’t let your fear of their sadness keep them from experiencing the immensity of Easter Joy!!
Make this day a day they will never forget and they will long to experience for years to come.
Feel every moment of this Holy Week. Feel the joy. Feel the sorrow. Let yourself feel. And in those feelings, let yourself find hope in the Resurrection – for we have this hope, THIS HOPE, as an anchor to our souls.
“The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!”
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- Kids in Worship
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- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
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About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.