Set Apart

Photo by Richard Dabu (

Photo by Richard Dabu (

As I think about those things that I set apart, I keep coming back to one thing: chocolate. And not just any chocolate—dark chocolate. Any holiday that showers me with candy and goodies will soon find me separating the dark chocolate from the riff-raff.

The Greek word hagios which translates to holy means ‘set apart’. What in our lives do we set apart as holy by or for God? In Genesis, God set the seventh day apart as a day of rest—holy rest—sabbath. Do you set a day, or at least part of a day apart to live in holy rest?

During the season of Lent, we have Holy Week, which is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter. This is a week that is meant to be set apart. Have you done that? Have you set this week apart, marking it as different from the rest of the weeks in the year? Because it is.

Holy Week is a chance for us to make the journey to the cross with Jesus. It is a time to travel into the depths. On Palm Sunday we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, waving palms and shouting loud hosannas. Easter Sunday finds us singing alleluias as we rejoice at the resurrection. If we only hit these high Sundays, we’ve missed the depth of our faith.

On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper where Jesus instituted our sacrament of Communion. We journey into the garden as Jesus prays, and we watch as he is handed over to death. On Good Friday, we weep with the women, knowing there is nothing we can do to ease Jesus’s suffering. On Holy Saturday, we wait with eager longing for the dawn, moving from darkness into the light.

Without these days, the triumph of Easter rings hollow. I hope you will join us at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. for our Maundy Thursday service, and on Friday, April 18 at noon for our Good Friday service. Set apart this time to be holy.

Jo Owens


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