When I was growing up in elementary school, preparing for Easter looked like this. A few weeks before, my sister and I would make the pilgrimage over to Columbus, GA with our mom to a store called “Parisian”. Then on the big day I would get up and put on my Easter uniform: black and white saddle oxfords; blue, green and white plaid pants; kelly green sport coat; white dress shirt and a larger than life navy clip-on bow tie. Topped off with third grade buckteeth and freshly combed over hair, compliments of my Dad, on Easter 1983 I was the total package. My sister, Emily, had her own version of this Easter getup and most years we often ended up on the front porch for a picture together before heading to church.
In these 40 days of Lent our Embrace Church family has been in a season of preparation. But rather than dressing ourselves up for the world to see our best – we have been working through doing the very opposite. We’ve been learning to recognize the showy false self that we often hide behind which is created out of the all to common fear “If only you knew the real me, there’s no way you would love or accept me.”
It has truly been a deeper journey, forcing many of us to examine our inner lives in a way we have never even considered before. But in doing so we are finding the beginnings of our true self that is filled with hope, peace, freedom, and even power, all stemming from faith in this profound truth: “That while we were still sinners (false selves, living behind a veneer of pretenses), Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).
But our journey and season of preparation is not over yet. As we turn our eyes to Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, we must not look past his final days of earthly life. There is much to gaze and behold in the passion narratives of the gospels that show us even more the depths of his love.
To help us in these last days we’ve prepared a few resources, which can be found by clicking on the “Guide to Holy Week” link. There you will find our Holy Week Reader that will help you walk through specific readings about the last days of Jesus life as well as information on locations around our community where you can join us for a Maundy Thursday gathering that will include communion and reflection. We hope you’ll join us on this final leg of The Deeper Journey.