Thirty years ago, Walt Disney Pictures released “Something Wicked This Way Comes” based on a story by science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. I never saw the movie, but I watched the trailer online this morning and might want to see if I can track it down for fun. For some reason, I have a knack for remembering movie titles whether I have seen the movie or not, and this one popped into my consciousness this morning as I was preparing to write this week’s column.
This week is known throughout the Christian world as Holy Week, commemorating the final week of the earthly ministry of Jesus, culminating with His crucifixion on Friday and resurrection on Sunday morning. It is because of what happened on that Sunday morning that Christ-followers began worshiping on Sunday, rather than the Sabbath Day (Saturday) worship which had been the custom of those whose heritage was Judaism. What Christians now celebrate as Easter Sunday is in commemoration of that Resurrection Sunday.
For the 24 years I served as a church music minister and then pastor, preparation for Easter Sunday was a process that pretty much began on Jan. 2 each year. There is a joke among preachers about the different kinds of church attendees that exist. One group is known as the “Chreasters” (those who attend only on Christmas and Easter). We also sometimes refer to them as the “Flower Children” (those who attend only when the church is decorated with poinsettias or lilies). As a result, we tend to want to make the most of the opportunity in preparing for those people with whom we interact so infrequently.
Now that I am in a different ministry, I am not involved in preparations for what will happen in any church this coming Sunday. I haven’t preached on Easter Sunday in years and am not likely to do so in the foreseeable future. I will attend and worship, so my preparation is more personal. What can I do to prepare myself to commemorate the most significant event in the history of the world?
These are my ponderings for Holy Week.
The fact of the matter is that much wickedness has come our way. We read about it, watch it on TV, hear about it on the radio, and are bombarded by it on social media. And it seems, in my opinion, that the more we focus on what is wicked, the less we focus on what is right.
Here’s a great, enduring, life-transforming truth: something (Someone) holy has come our way. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
Something Holy this way comes, and that is ultimately what makes our lives matter.