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Were You There?

Were You There?

Here we are. Holy Week 2023, the week we live the old, old story of Jesus and His love. That story unfolded in real time over two thousand years ago. I invite you to open your ears and hearts as you live this most Holy Week with fresh eyes.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Envision yourself with Peter. Do you feel the weight of guilt? Do you regret how time and time again you have betrayed our Lord? As you gaze on Jesus, He is hanging with open arms on the cross, He is waiting for you. He is welcoming you to His embrace of love and forgiveness.

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Envision yourself with the Roman soldiers as they nailed him to the tree and pierced His side. When the sun refused to shine from noon until three o’clock in the afternoon, did you sense that all of creation was grieving as the Light of the World was being extinguished? When Jesus gave out his last breath, did you see that curtain in the temple being torn in two from top to bottom? Did you realize that God’s plan for your salvation was happening before your very eyes? Did you lose your footing in the earthquake as the rocks were splitting open? As you saw the dead rising from their graves, did you know that you, too, would rise again because of that man hanging on the cross?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Envision yourself sitting with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. You saw how Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus, reverently took Jesus’ body and laid it in the tomb. You remember Jesus’ words, “After three days I will rise again.” The chief priests and the Pharisees also remembered those words. That’s why they went back to secure the tomb. Did the Pharisees expect that the body would be stolen? Did they have an inkling that Jesus’ words, “After three days I will rise again” would really happen? You saw this Jesus perform miracles. Do you wait in hope and faith? Do you believe?

Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?

Envision yourself running as fast as you can with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. You have marching orders, given directly from the angel of the Lord! Your tears of grief are now tears of joy, for Jesus has been raised from the dead! There is no time to waste. You need to tell the disciples! You need to get to Galilee and tell the Good News there!

And so, in 2023, we proclaim this message to the world: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

RUN, dear Sisters in Christ!

Cantor Jean Boehler

Vice President of Spiritual Life

LWML Atlantic District


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