This is the week that is the crux of the story of the whole of Christianity. Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. People bearing palms are waving in adoration, cloaks are being spread at the feet of the donkey which carries the one who is going to triumph over the evil empire. The donkey, a symbol of peace, an animal that is humble yet strong carries the one whom we place all hope.

Palm Sunday is a good feeling day. Everyone except for the religious leaders of Jesus’ time are in a good mood. Jerusalem is already a buzz with Passover celebrations. It is like a big family reunion. When Jesus arrives it is like icing on the cake, our Savior is ready to usher in a new way of life. 
Only the ones who are behind the curtain know that there is an undercurrent of negativity. There are plenty of people in power who like things just the way they are.  Ultimately there is a plan to quell this Jesus into submission, to try him as a false prophet, and put him to death. 

On Thursday, known as Maundy Thursday, Jesus and his disciples gather for his Last Supper. He uses this meal as a time to give his final instructions, to love one another, and to remember him in bread and wine as often as we gather. He washes the feet of his friends as an act of love and humility. He eats with his friend Judas, the one he knows will betray him. Until the end of his life Jesus models for us love, acceptance and grace.
Friday, will be a dark day. The name ‘Good Friday’ hardly seems appropriate for the remembrance of the crucifixion and death of the one in which we hold hope. The day is filled with lamentation and prayer, it is the darkest day of the whole year, but the one which is most necessary in order to celebrate the miracle of the resurrection.

My hope for you, is that you and your family fully engage with the story of the whole week from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. There will be opportunities at churches across our community to hear the stories and engage with the scripture. Sunday at Roots of Life we will parade with palms, Jesus on a donkey named Justice, and sing Hosanna! Thursday, our church will be open for a family friendly prayer vigil, with Prayer stations. On Good Friday at 7 p.m. we will have a service of darkness, a very holy and sacred time meant to inspire contemplation.

I am hopeful that your faith community has options for you throughout the week, check your website, and talk to your pastor. Or, feel free to be with us, no strings attached, if you want to experience Holy Week in the Roots of Life tradition.

Next week…I’ll write about the resurrection! Have a meaningful Holy Week, God goes with you!

- Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at, on Facebook or at