Remember the Pink Floyd song “The Wall”? There is a lyric in it that is really meaningful for Holy Week: “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding!”
In some Christian denominations, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are just days of the week. Nothing special happens. In others, they are holy days of deep reflection and fasting. They are dark days right before the biggest celebration of the Christian year – Easter. Within those denominations are people who don’t make time to go to Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services, and I feel they are shortchanging themselves.
So many people want to skip over the bad and go straight to the good. But if you don’t go through the bad, then the good doesn’t have the same meaning. They want their pudding, but they don’t want to eat the meat.
The “meat” is Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. They are hard to chew, and even harder to digest. They are difficult. They open us up and break us down. They take us along with Jesus into the pain and despair of that time, that time of loss, of betrayal, of abandonment. They take us along with the disciples into that time of fear and confusion.
The “pudding” is Easter – it is sweet and easy to eat. It is a day of joy, of promises fulfilled, of knowing that God is supreme.
But you have to go through the darkness to appreciate the light.