In this blog, I am inviting you and anyone you can find that is willing to share here, just how you spend the last week of Lent--Holy Week. I find sharing traditions to be a good thing, and an encouraging thing. In order to comment, just click comment at the bottom of this posting, and write a comment in the box. You don't have to have a google account. Just choose another option, and post your thoughts. So here are some of my thoughts. You can be more brief, or longer if you like.
This week has been a time of ramping-up preparations for next week--Holy Week on the Christian Calendar. We are preparing our Thursday evening service and Good Friday services, which basically are just long readings of Luke's passion narrative. Our sanctuary is dark and bleak. The cross is dominant up front, and the lights are kept low. On Thursday, we will receive communion and read about Christ's last supper. On Friday, the sanctuary will be draped with black cloths, as will the cross. We will read of Christ's arrest, trials, crucifixion and death. By the last reading, every light and candle in the sanctuary is out except for the "Christ Candle." The candle that represents to us his presence from Christmas until next Advent, is extinguished at the end of the service. (This of course, is not Jesus' actual presence, but rather it is our weekly reminder that when we gather, he is in our midst.) All is dark, as is our world with no Christ.
We leave in silence.
Then on Easter Sunday morning, we will begin outside (weather permitting) and walk symbolically around the building on our journey to the tomb of Christ. We will read of his burial and of the women walking to the tomb which will be represented again by the sanctuary. The doors will be opened as we arrive, and we will hear the incredible words: "Our Lord is Risen!" We will respond, as we do each year (if I'm not to choked and fighting tears) with, "He is risen indeed!"
The drama and darkness of Lent will succumb once again to the bright hope of Easter Sunday morning!
I learned long ago that the joy of Easter is little more than candy eggs and new clothes if we don't intentionally discipline ourselves to experience first the darkness.