Welcome, blessed Holy Week.
We shout you in with all our souls, and we’ll praise God as you go.
Photos, links, and info on how to celebrate HERE.
So happy Holy Week is here to help us focus our days. Especially as we have little else competing for our attention. ☺️
As we talk about Hosannas, I have to tell you about the glorious General Conference our church had over the weekend. While it was odd to see church leaders speaking to an empty auditorium, avoiding handshaking, and sitting 6 feet apart . .
(covid conference ⬆️ vs. regular conference ⬇️)
. . .their words still fired my soul and filled me much-needed comfort.
I wept several times, to the point where I could not control the emotion I felt. I’ll mark the moments. It was during the most authentic and honest prayer from one of our African American brothers, during the Solemn Assembly, and during the final hymn where members of the church all around the world were filmed, singing in their native languages. Few things stir me more than seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ embraced by all kinds of people, all over the globe.
Never before, have I felt so much gratitude for a prophet. We just celebrated 200 years since Joseph Smith’s vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. I was bursting with thanks for all that his youthful prayer set in motion.
I believe our current prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, is called by God, for our day, at this time. It is a huge comfort to me to know he will direct and guide us in these uncertain days.
President Nelson invited all church members, wherever they might be in the world, to participate in a Hosanna Shout yesterday morning. This was part of the Solemn Assembly. We rarely do the Hosanna Shout. It’s a sacred devotion done at temple dedications and other unique circumstances. But yesterday, was not just unique, it was requisite.
You probably know that the word “Hosanna” comes from two Hebrew words that mean “please save us” or “deliver us.” It’s an expression to show praise, thanksgiving, joy, or can be used as a plea or prayer. It is meant to be done with the whole soul.
We waved a white handkerchief over our heads and shouted with great emotion, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna, to God and the Lamb!” We repeated it three times. I love this description of the Hosanna Shout be BH Roberts:
“It is impossible to stand unmoved on such an occasion. It seems to fill the prairies or woodland, mountain wilderness or tabernacle, with mighty waves of sound; and the shout of men going into battle cannot be more stirring. It gives wonderful vent to religious emotions and is followed by a feeling of reverential awe.”B. H. Roberts (Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 3 p.317)
To shout Hosanna on Palm Sunday – the day the Lord triumphantly made his way into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey – was so very tender to me. “All the city was moved.” The people spread their garments in the way and shouted, “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord!” We were moved too. And what a time to ask the Lord to “please save us.” The world absolutely needs our prayers.
Our pleas, and yours too, will continue until we see relief and healing from this global pandemic. We also prayed the economic hit that will affect every country and every family, be tempered.
President Nelson asked that we hold a worldwide fast (to go without food and drink for at least two meals) as a church on Good Friday, to demonstrate our faith and continue our petitions for healing around the world, abatement of the pandemic, and economic resilience.
I immediately thought of what it meant to fast on Good Friday. The day the Lord said, “I thirst” and must have been hungry as well, as he hung on the cross and suffered death for us. Surely, we can do our small part of going without on that day, when we think of His incredible sacrifice.
So please join us, if you can. Pray, fast, or worship in your own way, and link your prayers with ours. I believe God hears every genuine prayer, no matter who or where it is offered.
From a Palm Sunday Hosanna to an Easter Sunday Hallelujah, this will be our 2020 Holy Week.
Yesterday, we pulled cherry blossoms indoors and created our Easter Tree.
A little droopy this year, but that’s okay. Kinda how I feel.
Wednesday we will do our Easter walk because it didn’t materialize today. (Too much school work!) I know teachers are trying to moderate the load, and maybe it’s just that I have five kids who need help, but it’s a good thing all our extracurricular activities our canceled, because we couldn’t get to them if they weren’t! Maybe we need to be more disciplined each day.
So, if you missed it up top, here is our PRINTABLE GUIDE TO HOLY WEEK.
I’m actually in process of updating a few things and adding in some new language and plans. It will look different next Easter. So plan on coming by then, for some fresh ideas, including listening to this music by Rob Gardner. It tells the story of Jesus’ last week in aching tones and lyrics.
I gotta say, this “stay home” thing has been hard. I’ve wondered in the past if I was cut out for home school, but it’s clear now. . . I’m not. 😂 Actually, I could work with the girls, but man, the boys are killing me! This is all they want to do. All day long. Play.
Trampoline, soccer, baseball, football, nerf guns, basketball, repeat. Getting them to sit down and work is ALMOST impossible. Even when I tell them, “You better listen up little toads! The wrath of Cath is starting to rumble.” 😂 For some reason that doesn’t rattle them. Anyone with tips for getting boys to discipline themselves, please help! 🙋🏻♀️
At least they can spell Corona. 👍🏻
We did have an awesome outing to Antelope Island. If you live local and are looking for something to do, drive out the causeway and go hiking. It’s pretty much empty of people. While we were there, the views of the Great Salt Lake were all kinds of blues and greens, ablaze with afternoon sun.
It reminded me a bit of the Sea of Galilee.
I love these five. Even though some days we could use some social distancing from each other!
We hiked up to Buffalo Point, then out to the edge of the water.
Lots of bison! Just roaming on this little prairie.
But where there be buffalo, there be buffalo chips. 😂 Bigger than a dinner plate. “Watch your step everyone!” Ali was thoroughly grossed out.
We also saw a small herd of deer.
Old boats seeping up color.
And this cool cairn off the causeway.
A couple days ago, Eliza painted this quote from my last blog post. She’s been doing a lot of art during this hiatus from regular life. Including a small note she’s been working on for her friends:
“No Winter lasts forever; No Spring skips its turn.”– Hal Borland
As Holy Week moves into our lives, and we honor and remember the Lord, Jesus Christ, I hope His light fills not just your home, but your heart, your soul, your entire body.
He is the one thing in life right now that brings me true peace. He is constant midst all this trouble and weird reality. He is unchanging, ever merciful, always ready to forgive, to help, to sustain. He is the Mighty Lion of Judah, the Messiah of Old, The Savior of the Meridian, and the unblemished Lamb of God.
By Easter morning, we will have Hallelujah on our lips. I am in reverential awe when I stop to think that Jesus makes life beyond this possible, including the forever hands of my children and husband, a longed-for reunion with my Mother, and so many prayers of admission and less than, with new days to try again.
I want so much to hear Him, to recognize His voice, His truth, and His ways.
Hoping this will be one of your most treasured Easters yet – at home and at peace, as you lay down all your heavy at His feet.