Onward to holy week...

Yesterday I was invited to preach the ecumenical Easter Vigil in our community. It was humbling and frightening at the same time. I usually pace myself fairly well for Holy Week but this threw my equations totally out of whack. What's more, during the weeks following Easter - when I usually disappear for 10 days of quiet time and reflection - I am going to be helping my father transition from his home of 41+ years and then spend some time in Brooklyn taking care of my dear grandson while his parents bring home the bacon. So, adding one more task to a demanding time rattled me.

Thanks be to God I was recently able to get some insight into my inner grief: it has been draining but as I play with the way my tears draw me closer to the presence of our living God, there is also consolation.  So, today I was able to write an Easter Vigil homily more than a week early. I will have time to both sit with it and then edit it, too.  Onward to my Good Friday meditation on our music and art presentation:  MISUNDERSTOOD. That, too, is close to completion leaving me only Maundy Thursday (and maybe a modified Vigil message for Easter Sunday) to hammer out.
Those who don't participate in regular worship have no idea how stressful this season is for church professionals. On one hand, we need to speak to our people from the heart - saying something of the Lord that has integrity and hope - and on the other hand we must find a way to pace ourselves for multiple worship experiences that all have deep emotional content. This is particularly challenging for introverts, yes?  With precious little down time in-between liturgies, it can feel emotionally overwhelming.

This Sunday four congregations will gather for a Blessing of the Palms - Lutheran, Methodist, United Church of Christ and Episcopal - before processing to our respective Sanctuaries.  After Palm Sunday, we'll have a 2+ hour band practice to nail the complicated songs for Good Friday. I am excited and pleased that this year a great deal of the Good Friday material has been written by band members - not the songs - but the prayers and biblical narratives. Time and again, I read about national church conferences where the same old top-down hacks gather to celebrate themselves and try to pass it off as "relevant." I don't think I'll be going to many of those conferences any more because right here in our small little community our lay people are doing incredible poetry, brilliant biblical interpretation and wildass musical creation.

Onward to Holy Week!


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