Why So Serious?

What’s the point of observing Holy Week?

Isn’t Maundy Thursday a Catholic thing?

Why do we call Good Friday “good”?

Why should we act on Good Friday like the Resurrection didn’t happen when we know that it did?

All of these are wonderful questions, and all of them are addressed in this week’s episode.  It’s only right to wonder what the big deal is with Holy Week. You hear it mentioned, sometimes excitedly, sometimes in a a solemn voice, sometimes in prayerful whispering. But what is the purpose of observing it? How does doing so enliven the life of faith? What kind of impact can it, and should it, have?

On this special episode of The DBC Podcast, I sat down for a Skype conversation with a good friend of mine – a guy who has worked for many years guiding people through all manner of Christian observances, Holy Week being one of the most important. Ryan Richardson is Associate Chaplain and Director of Worship and Chapel at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and on this episode he shared from his own experience, as both a leader of various services as well as a participant in them, how our relationship with Jesus can be strengthened in extraordinary ways when we take the time to genuinely, deeply reflect on the last week of his life, his death on the cross, and the heartache that followed before the morning of the Resurrection.

I think what Ryan had to say was really inspiring, and a good reminder what this week is all about. I hope you enjoy listening to what he had to say. Please bear with the poor sound quality – a Skype conversation is very convenient, but it ain’t easy on the ol’ audio editing software.

I’d love to know how your own faith has been challenged and strengthened by observing aspects of Holy Week. Or, if you have any questions about the deep significance of these individual days. Please make sure to share with all of us in the comments section below.

Click on the image below to be directed to the official iTunes page of this podcast, where you can subscribe to every episode, download, or stream. Or you can listen via the Soundcloud.com media player below.

2 thoughts on “Why So Serious?

  1. In the podcast, and at the end, you talk about the importance of rhythm and how we sometimes grudgingly call it routine. I find having a rhythm frees me from having to think about the process so that I can more easily lend my mind to the content; I don’t have to focus on the “how,” but can instead concentrate on the “what” and “why.” I think making a point of having an annual observance of Holy Week lets us focus more deeply on “what” and “why” of Easter, rather than making it just a bigger version of every other Sunday.

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    1. I think that’s a big part of it, Chris. I like how, in The Message, Eugene Peterson translates the well known passage from Matthew 11:28-30: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” The unforced rhythms of grace are a compelling part of following Jesus, and annual observances such as Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week, Pentecost, etc. can play a huge part, especially when it comes to our communal understanding of Jesus’ lordship.

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About Bo

Please see the "About the Author" section on my blog, Windblown (www.bobowenblog.com).