Tucked between choir robes and Christmas pageant clothes, I sit with my knees pressed to my torso, breathing quietly. I’m playing one of my favorite youth group games—sardines.
Sardines is like hide-and-seek, only backward. One person hides and everyone else must find that individual.
Floors creak and muffled laughter rings out as I wait to be found. Soon two of us are hiding in the dark. The group multiples until there’s one seeker left. Now it’s their turn to hide.
Holy Week feels like a game of sardines. We are the disciples, stumbling through the dark, hiding and craving connection as we accompany Jesus to the cross.
This week and its special services invite us into Jesus’ final days in a way unlike anything else during the church year: We feel water on our feet as they’re washed, we taste the bread and wine given for us at communion, we visualize nails pounded into Jesus’ body as we listen to the story of his crucifixion. Our cries of grief intermingle with those of Jesus’ closest friends and family. This is our story.
When you’re hiding during sardines, you trust that eventually someone will find you.
Similarly, the pain of Good Friday leads to delight as we peer into the empty tomb and later proclaim, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!” This isn’t the end of the story; it’s still unfolding.
After Easter Sunday, we join the disciples on the road to Emmaus. This is our road too. A road wondering where Jesus is in our lives. A road seeking companionship. A road to ask questions and listen for answers.
I think back to playing sardines and relishing the joy of being found. Holy Week and Easter remind us that Jesus is the one who always seeks and finds us, the one who sacrifices his life for us, the one who joins us outside the empty tomb.
This April, keep your eyes open for moments of connection—with Scripture, your neighbors, your soul and God. Be still and wait, trusting that Jesus will find you.