Are you feeling overwhelmed this Holy Week?

How is Holy Week going for you so far?

It’s easy to wear yourself out in the run-up to Easter. I talked with a pastor last week from a tradition that has services every night of Holy Week. He said one year he also had two funerals the two weeks before Easter. He’s planned ahead this year, and is taking time off after Easter to recover. What does it take to get through it?

At my church recently a couple brought their baby to be dedicated (we’re Baptist so we don’t baptize babies). The baby’s father, Malachi Williams, asked to say a few words. He talked about his late grandfather, Rev. George Dick, who was the executive secretary of the Oregon State Council of Churches from 1960-1966, as well as a pastor in Portland. His grandmother, Claribel, just reached her 99th birthday. This is a picture of the two of them together.

Holy Week

The Rev. George Dick and Claribel Dick

Mal pulled out his wallet and read to the congregation some words his grandfather always carried around:

Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I can’t handle together.


I spoke with Mal afterwards, and he showed me the quote. It’s a photocopy of his grandfather’s original typed version, taped on his wallet where he can see it every time he opens it.

Holy Week

Now, that’s drawing on the strength of previous generations of family every day.




My grandmother used to say, Do your best, angels can’t do better. I don’t remember hearing her say it, but my mother quoted her over and over as I was growing up.

Another favorite Grandma quote was this: God can only guide a moving vessel. In other words, get going, and you will be more able to fall into line with God’s will. If you stay put, you may never get anywhere.

Did your family have any wisdom that you can draw on to support you through Holy Week? Or any challenging week? You may even have found them annoying when you were young. However, they might provide strength in tough times. I’d love to hear about it.

Or you can borrow one of ours.

And here’s another article about surviving Holy Week.

8 replies on “Are you feeling overwhelmed this Holy Week?

  • Jeff Sievert

    Very helpful, as usual. My wife directed me to it, as is often the case. A gift from the congregation in honor of our 20 years at the Reedville Presbyterian Church is sending us on a spa retreat starting Easter afternoon! My freshly minted motto for the remainder of Holy Week: Coasting through to Resurrection.

  • John Scace

    My Grandfather always told us “Not to burn our bridges behind us. You just never know when you might need to cross them again” Sound advise that I have used more than once in my life.
    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  • Carol McVetty

    What beautiful, comforting wisdom with which to start my week! The practical wisdom passed down in my family that your thoughts brought to the surface don’t necessarily carry encouraging thoughts for high-pressure days. But they are useful at other times. Sayings like “Every pot sits on its own bottom.” (don’t blame others for your troubles) and “You’re not the only apple on the tree.” (make room for the concerns and interests of others in the group/family). Now I’m looking forward to seeing what other old bits of family wisdom bubble up through the day.
    As always, thanks for your ministry of wisdom and encouragement.


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