I have set up a means for you to celebrate and anticipate the resurrection of Easter with me. But first, a little background…
Easter is the most sacred of Christian holidays, marked by our community celebrations of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. But it should also be marked by anticipation before that Sunday, and reflection and celebration that lasts well beyond. Unfortunately, much of my own experience limited Easter to the biggest Sunday of the year with all of us wearing the best clothes in our closet. (And if you know me, you know that was done grudgingly.) Perhaps this was followed by a shared meal with loved ones and an Easter egg hunt. And that was that.
Learning from other traditions has helped enrich Easter for me. I’ve experienced Lent as a means of anticipating Easter with millions of Christians around the world. I’ve been part of Passover meals as the context where Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper. I’ve learned how some traditions celebrate a dark Tenebrae service in reflection of the crucifixion itself.
This year, our church community is sharing a Passover meal, and some of us are participating in Lent. Beyond that, I’ve been thinking about how to develop the anticipation of Easter in our community. I turned to technology — specifically Twitter. Because Twitter is so scalable, I decided to share it with anyone who wants to follow along.
I have created a Twitter account called @passionweek. Beginning this Sunday — Palm Sunday — you can follow along with the events of Jesus’ final week. Throughout the week, the @passionweek twitter account will post a brief glimpse of what Jesus experienced at the time he would of experienced it. The timing is mostly estimated. Regardless, I hope it can give you reason to pause throughout the week to reflect and anticipate what looms on Sunday.
A few details to help you make the most of the experience:
- You can follow along if you’re not on Twitter by visiting the @PassionWeek Twitter profile. But, your best experience will come if you join Twitter and follow along. It’s painless, and won’t require any more from you than following that account if that’s all you want to do.
- I’ve tried not to overdo it. Most of the days only have 3-5 tweets, though things do intensify with the Last Supper on Thursday evening. Even so, there will be no more than 8-10 tweets on the most active days.
- I’d suggest you have twitter send this account to your mobile phone so that you can receive updates as they happen. You should be aware that tweets will come through the night on Thursday. Sorry…it didn’t seem right to sanitize Jesus’ trials for the convenience on our sleep patterns!
- The times are estimated to my timezone — Central Daylight Time. I wish Twitter had a means to adjust for you, but it doesn’t. This means they will be roughly correct for others in North and South America, and out of whack for those on other continents. If someone wants to recreate what I’ve done for another timezone, I’ll be happy to send you the tweets and schedule to reproduce.
- The Scriptures are taken from the TNIV version of the Gospel of Mark, though most are edited and paraphrased to fit into 140 characters. They focus on the actions that Jesus experienced and won’t tell the whole story. Their primary purpose is to offer a means of reflection. Some include a reference to help you follow along, and it will be helpful to further immerse yourself in the story each day as you have opportunity.
- Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan deserve a nod of recognition. The timeline was based on their account of the events of Jesus’ life in The Last Week.
I hope this can be a blessing to you. I have no intention to use this account for anything beyond what I describe above, so you won’t be spammed to buy a piece of the cross from me or anything like that. If you have any questions, post them below.