I Live Like Hell Is Empty

It. Is. Finished.

Emily Rose


I had a lot I wanted to say for this Holy Week. It’s the first I’ve spent as a Sunday school teacher, and the first one of our kids has been aware enough to notice that something is off about Palm Sunday. I like to think we all reach that point as children when we realize that there’s a sense of foreboding woven into it.

So, I got to explain that to a five-year-old. It was delightful. He gets the concept.

Maybe it’s the fact that everyone on the worship team — pastors, elders, choir and choir directors, men and women of the church who do the set up for the feast — are obviously working overtime to prepare for something, but not like they were at Christmas time. Maybe it's the increasing sense of darkness falling as we repeatedly gather to worship in the evening, but not like it was at Christmastime. Maybe it’s the ten million communion sacraments we share in one short week… But not like it was at Christmastime.

We prepare. We gather. We share a meal by night. We did all of this a short while ago, but there was joy and anticipation in the air. Excitement and cheer, because it was advent and soon, we would be together with family we hadn’t seen in a while. There would be feasting, and colorful decorations, and brilliant lights glowing in the cold night to fill us with hope and remind us that the dawn is always coming.

But this is different. The feast is so sparse by comparison: flatbread and bitter herbs to be eaten in silence and haste, with shoes on and ready to run. Brilliant blue and white gives way to ominous purple and red. And out of town family doesn’t tend to gather for Maundy Thursday like they do for Christmas, have you noticed?

There is no light. No brilliance. It just gets darker. And darker. And on Friday, the last candles are brutally put out.

Because Jesus is literally in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks right now, and we are the reason it happened to Him.

There is nothing to be cheerful about.

I spend a considerable amount of my personal time chewing on a little tidbit from…