Important Christian festivals can be a challenge! Instead of being gently led by the still small voice of God, we become engulfed in the thunderclap of manic activity. The length of the to-do list around special times such as Easter and Christmas can seem inversely proportional to the quality of our relationship with God. Particularly for those of us involved in church leadership of any kind, or masterminding the festivities at home, these times can become a real burden. We have these wonderful opportunities to connect with God, to enter into the stories in his Word, and use them to inspire our prayers and contemplation, yet we are unable to enjoy them to the full simply because there is so much to do!

Holy Week and Easter are the most awe-inspiring season in the Christian calendar as far as I’m concerned. I long to take time out to reflect on it all. Some years I manage that, either by carving out time to withdraw, or by walking through all the busyness in a state of prayerful calm, but other times there’s simply too much stress involved, and I’m only human! This year there’s a lot going on. I want to read, journal, pray, and let the message of that decisive journey to Jerusalem and the Cross change me once again. I want to spread colour, choose images and sit with them awhile. I want to feel the breeze as the palms wave around, taste the wine in the upper room and weep at the foot of the cross with the Marys. I want to go to the garden early in the morning and feel the pangs of loss, only to be confronted with the glorious truth of the risen Lord. Yet I’m writing lectures, planning worship, cleaning, cooking, managing the complexities of intergenerational dynamics, parenting teenagers, caring for guests, constantly adding to the ever-growing to-do list, and generally running round like a maniac with anything but a sense of prayerful calm! It’s Maundy Thursday already and I haven’t even got to Palm Sunday yet in my own inner world.

And as I sat with a quick cup of coffee earlier, I realised the rather obvious point: I don’t have to do it on the day!

If any of this resonates, may I invite you to have the Easter journey anyway, but at a time that works for you. If the week after Easter is your first available breathing space, then start waving your palms around then! It doesn’t matter if you’re ‘late’.¬†Shortly after my revelation coffee, I finally got my Palm Sunday kit out and did some journalling. I reckon by the time I get to praying through Easter it may be a couple of weeks after the actual event – but the power of the resurrection is available all the year round, and I don’t want to miss it.

Feel free to post your Easter journalling in the Facebook group at any time – come and join us here, and may you have a very Happy Easter whenever and however you choose to celebrate it!

Jane x

Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday journalling kits available at Bible Journalling Uk on Etsy

Palm Sunday Journalling video below.

You don’t need to do it on the day!

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