This Holy Week, we’ve been sitting in the choir pews for some of the smaller services — Morning Prayer and our daily Eucharists. I had never actually sat in the choir pews before and, besides learning that they’re a bit…tight…I really enjoyed the fresh perspective they bring. From the soprano section, I can see into the chapel and gaze upon a beautiful painting of the Madonna and Child. From the bass section across the chancel from the organ, I can look past the pulpit to spy the ship that’s suspended in the nave.
Holy Week is itself a study in shifting perspectives. Every year we hear the story of Jesus’ journey in different ways. The kaleidoscope of images and stories, symbols and music are heard in new ways and from different perspectives each year. For we are never in the same place when we hear the familiar story of the redemption of the world — we’re at different places in our spiritual and emotional lives. Some of us, myself included, are quite literally in different places this year. But we’ve all had new experiences, some joyful and some heartbreaking, in the past twelve months that shape our responses to the salvation story.
I’m not suggesting, for the sake of perspective, you abandon your “regular pew” this week — though you may have to on Easter Day, unless you show up early. But I am encouraging you to embrace the days ahead, as we enter into the very heart of the Christian story, and to live into the shifting perspective of our faith. You may notice new details that pierce your heart, or open your mind. You may be particularly moved by the text of a hymn or the way a stained glass window is illuminated.
These are the unexpected joys of this holiest of weeks. May God be with us as we together continue to walk the way of the cross.