everything is holy now

I just took my kids on a walk through the neighborhood so that we could sprinkle the streets with rainbows. The idea came to me in a moment of desperation this morning when even they didn’t want to watch anymore tv. (Yikes)

I went upstairs to root for the new sidewalk chalk that the Easter Bunny was going to deliver later this week and we jumped into the wagon to circle the neighborhood.

Right about when I started to feel tired from dragging the wagon around I found my attention turning to Holy Week, which we entered yesterday with our Palm Sunday worship. I’ve thought a lot about Holy Week the last few weeks – wondering how we will honor these days, wondering how we can connect online with any bit of the same impact our connection in person offers us, wondering how the celebration of Easter this Sunday can possibly bring a feeling of joy and new life as the peak of illness and death from COVID 19 has yet to even come.

As I turned these questions in my mind for what felt like the hundredth time while we walked, I decided to make the question simpler. Instead of asking myself “what should Holy Week look like?”, I asked myself “What is holy?’

As soon as I shifted my perspective I heard the words of a Peter Mayer song that I have loved for years pipe into my mind. The words from his simple refrain answered my question as quickly as I asked it:

Everything, everything, everything is holy now.

I looked back down at my kids while they giggled together in the wagon, totally unaware of why the world needed rainbows. I thought of the neighbors we had encountered with more care and compassion then we typically display with one another. I thought of the joy I felt when a new puppy trotted with its owner across the street from us. And things started to click for me.

Here’s the thing about this time we’re living in: It is scary, and confusing, and uncertain. Words I keep using over and over again – I’m so tired of using these words.

But this time is also holy. This is a vigil. We are, all of us, holding vigil together. We know that some of us are sick. We know that some of us are dying. We know that many of us are heading to work to serve others when all work right now comes with so much risk. And whether we are out working or staying at home, we are waiting, watching, holding vigil.

This Holy Week will be different from any we’ve experienced before, there is no doubt of that. But while we can’t gather together in our churches the way we have for centuries to hold vigil for Jesus, we can honor that this collective experience we are sharing right now is just as much a way to honor God and to honor God in one another as we have ever experienced. There will be no Easter Vigil at Church of the Beloved this year, but we will vigil. We will wait for death. We will care for one another the best we can in our waiting and in our grief. And we will believe that God will make all things new in ways beyond our imagination. And it will be holy.

Everything, everything, everything is holy now.