It you take a guided tour of the tallest trees at Redwood National Park you will not see the tallest tree. You will see some very tall trees, but the location of the tallest is a closely guarded secret. This majestic tree, known as Hyperion, was only discovered in 2006 and stands an impressive 380.3 feet (115.92 meters) tall. Only a few scientists and park rangers know its true location.
Hyperion has been designated as sacred. In the scientific community, this tree is protected and revered. It is set apart out of respect for its great value and beauty. When I first heard of this secret tree, I was reminded of the Holy of Holies in the ancient Temple of Jerusalem; that innermost chamber within a building within a court that only the High Priest, and then only once a year, would enter. As an example of the wonder of God’s creation, Hyperion is worthy of veneration. The secret of its location, its singularity, beauty and majesty all contribute to make Hyperion, for all intents and purposes, holy.
Holy Week is a time set apart. On any other Sunday of the year we engage our senses in worship, tasting Holy Communion, hearing music, touching one another as we share the peace, but Holy Week is a time set apart. With palms and fire, shared food and candles, we engage our bodies and senses, hearts and minds. Like Hyperion, the worship this week is just that much more sacred. The stories are powerful, and the rituals of Holy Week draw us into those stories.
Yours in Christ,