The silence of holy week.
I’ve been reading Erin Moon‘s Lent study again this year, but unlike last year, it has been harder to feel it, to lean into it, to still myself and read the words. Perhaps it’s the season we’re all in–collective trauma, a term I’m hearing a lot, has quite an effect on us. Perhaps it’s that I didn’t print off the guide and have been using my phone for it all. Perhaps it is simply the fact that I am married now, married only days before Lent kicked off this year. There’s a lot of reasons why this could be a simultaneously slower and breakneck speedy Lenten season–it feels like I just looked up and suddenly–it was holy week. already?
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and as we were loading up yet another week of online church, I made myself slow down. I guessed which chapter was the triumphal entry–Matthew 21, and read that section. Slower than normal.
And you know what stuck out to me the most? The silence.
It was loud, sure. Lots of people quoting scripture in their shouts. A noisy donkey who probably hated the sounds. Lots of movement in a small entryway to the city. Prophecies being fulfilled. Stones were even threatening to cry out.
But in the midst of all the noise is this overwhelming silence to me.
The disciples are silent. And I keep wanting to sit with that. They are silent.
Chances are, they are overwhelmed. It’s loud. The crowd is noisy, wild even. They are probably afraid. Returning to a city full of people who want to kill Jesus. The religious leaders are glaring from every direction at this “prophet,” riding into town. Everything feels out of control.
Sound familiar yet?
But I love their silence. They’re just walking with Jesus. Not getting loud or rowdy. Feeling wary of the whole thing happening around them. But they are still there. With their doubts, fears, forebodings of a “suffering savior” Jesus has told them about. With their overwhelm. They walk with him anyway. They stay with him when the crowds fade and the hosannas stop.
Just stay there. I know we want to rush ahead. We know the rest of the story, after all.
But it is okay to just stay here. Feel the silence in all that noise. We need some silence these days. We’re in circumstances that aren’t silent, but that give us the opportunity to be a little more silent, a little more still than usual. Let’s just let that happen. Just stay. breathe.