This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
It’s Holy Week. Although Sweet Monday is not an official part of the church calendar for Holy Week, every day of our lives can be sweet because of Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the grave after He paid the penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. I did not grow up celebrating Holy Week, but have come to love the Christian tradition of observing the significance associated with these special days. In fact, the Good Friday service also known as Tenebrae in some churches, is one of the most moving worship experiences that I have ever had.
Last week I had the privilege of accompanying my mom, sister and nephews on an extraordinary trip to the “Eternal City” to celebrate my nephews’ graduation while also checking Rome off of my mom’s bucket list. There is so much history in this ancient city, especially for the Christians. (Jesus was born and lived during Roman rule.) Paul, the apostle, was imprisoned in Rome. He and Peter, Jesus’ disciple, were both martyred in Rome. And Paul wrote a letter to the early church at Rome which is steeped with deep theological truth.
While in Rome we saw the ruins of the colosseum, a giant stadium where Christians were killed for their faith. The Pantheon, once a “temple of many gods”, is now a sacred church of the One true God where the bones of Christian martyrs were relocated from the catacombs for proper burial. St. Peter’s Basilica, a legacy of the disciple Peter, and the Vatican Museums marvelously display the testimony of ancient believers, Renaissance artists and architects, and modern-day pilgrims to the glory of God and His Son Jesus Christ.
As my Roman Catholic neighbor reminded me, catholic means universal and this week, millions of followers of Christ will universally reflect upon His death, burial and resurrection worshipping in different time zones, languages, styles and buildings all across the globe united by our common faith and adoration of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Whatever your week looks like, I pray that you will take time each day to worship the Holy One and reflect upon what Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross mean to you and all mankind. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Because of the cross, our sins are forgiven. Because of the empty tomb, we have victory with Christ over death, hell and the grave. Because He lives people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will one day worship together unified around the throne of the One true God in the real Eternal city; the one where the streets are paved with gold.
May this Sweet Monday lead you to the Sweetest Sunday you have ever known.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
His servant and yours,