As this blog is posted we're beginning another Holy Week. Well, most folks call it Holy Week; but, truth is, there are some years when, with all the extra worship services and demands, we pastor's secretly have another term for it. Nevertheless, it's Holy Week.
Back when I was a handsome young lad, and believe it or not there was such a time, Holy Week was the signal of the arrival of special things to come. Holy Week announced the coming of spring. The days get longer; the air gets warmer; and the time for planting has arrived. Mama always said the time to plant was Good Friday. It was the time to put the seed into the ground and await the coming of new life.
While we waited, Holy Week had also announced the coming of the time to spruce up, to scrub down the place, to paint the woodwork where needed, and to sit down at the kitchen table to plan out the vacation that would be ours in a few months.
Holy Week was a time to go shopping. Back in those days, in the last century, folks wore what was called their Sunday best to church. Way back then church wasn't a causal thing. It was time to “put on the clothes of righteousness” Mama said. One wore one's best to church every Sunday of the year. And one wore one's brand new best on Easter Sunday. We went shopping for new clothes and the ladies went shopping for their Easter Bonnet. Remember that old song, “In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade”? Funny, I remember all the Easter bonnets adorning my aunt's and cousins' heads; but I don't have a single memory of an Easter parade.
Holy Week was a time for all the children to gather in the kitchen. They say a watched pot will never boil, but it does if it's filled with Easter eggs. And then came the dying, the hand dying by everyone in the family. Pardon my waxing nostalgic, but those hand dyed hard boiled eggs beat today's plastic ones by a mile.
Back then, in that previous century, Holy Week brought the expectation in children of dyed little chicks and bunny rabbits. Holy Week brought the promise of my favorite Easter candy. It was a chocolate egg stuffed with this white icing permeated with all kinds of chopped fruit flavored flakes. It was only when I became an adult I discovered the innards of my favorite Easter egg was nothing more than the leftovers of the other candies. As such, I learned my most favorite candy was chocolate covered garbage.
The approach to the end of Holy Week sent us down to the church to pull those folding chairs out of the basement to accommodate the saints who sang their Halleujahs only on Easter and Christmas. Holy Week meant one of those chairs pulled out of the basement would be warmed by Uncle Ronald's posterior. It was the only Sunday of the year a chair or pew was warmed by such.
So here we are once again in slap dab in Holy Week. I'm remembering all those Holy Weeks past. In remembering I've got some idea of how this week may end. So, you'll have to excuse me now. I've got a sermon sizzling, and I'm cooking for a crowd.