I’ll be the first one to admit it: I’m not a fan of holiday pushing. I’m not ready for Easter decorations when it’s not even Lent (yes, local grocery store, I’m talking to you!). As much as I enjoy looking ahead and anticipate the joy of holidays to come, there is something about savoring the present moment that I cherish. And there is something about living into the liturgical season that I find life-giving. It has always baffled me that local radio stations switch to Christmas music weeks before Christmas but abruptly stop the day after Christmas. Whatever happened to the twelve days of Christmas? Likewise, I am genuinely baffled by the tradition of Easter Egg hunts the week before Easter. It feels like opening Christmas presents before Christmas day…. it misses something important. I’m just not ready for “Happy Easter” before Easter day. I’m not ready to open eggs filled with candy before I’ve walked with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.
This is why I cherish Holy Week. It tells the whole story. I love that my four children are growing up with the tradition of Holy Week; a tradition that teaches them the entire story of salvation. The story of palms raised and hosannas shouted, feet washed, lonely tears in a nighttime garden, and the angry cries of a crowd shouting “crucify”. For me, the joy of resurrection means more when I’ve remembered the last meal of Jesus and remembered his death on the cross. Holy Week allows me the space and time to hear the story of the good news- but not just the parts that feel “good”. Not just the parts that are joyful.
I want my children to grow up knowing the whole story. I want them to know that whatever life brings- joy, sorrow, hardship, despair- they aren’t alone, that Jesus is with them and for them. I want them to grow up experiencing all that makes this week Holy. Not just Easter egg hunts or pretty clothes but the story of Jesus’s last days, of his great love for us. So I’m waiting for Easter and all that it brings. And I’ll encourage my children to do the same. Because as the saying goes- the best things in life are worth waiting for.