Holy Week Reflections

S (Scripture): Psalm 52:9 

I will give thanks to you, God, forever,

    because you have acted.

In the presence of your faithful people,

    I will hope in your name because it’s so good.

O (Observation): The psalmist ponders why the evil are so pompous and unfaithful, and gives thanks for God’s faithfulness to those who love and fear the Lord.

A (Application): Taking time to ponder God’s movement and wisdom during Holy Week is my focus this morning. I will share reflections from Easter tomorrow (Apr 23).

Maundy Thursday: the command to “love one another” was compelling, indeed. As a congregation, we have been helping to sponsor the local multi-ethnic gathering known as “Love Your Neighbor” potlucks. That command to love one another naturally flows over into the gathering of neighbors over a meal. Typically these gatherings include Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhist, B’hai, atheists, agnostics and more. We will gather next weekend (Sunday, April 28, 2019) to celebrate this love, when the next potluck occurs.

During the closing of the worship service, we strip the altar bare, removing banners and candles and all else that adorns this space. The only thing that remains is the light of Christ, which shines in these early parts of Jesus emptying himself of any selfish desire.

Good Friday: a day of solemnity in worship. We remember Jesus 7 last words, recall Psalm 22, and move from light to darkness. At the end of the service, the Christ candle is temporarily removed from the space, leaving us in almost complete darkness. The Book is slammed shut, causing a startling sound to reverberate throughout our worship space, jarring enough to remind us of the Temple curtain being torn in two. Then, the Christ candle is brought forth once again, to remind us that while the light was snuffed out, Jesus would return.

The quietude envelopes us, as a warm blanket soothing a shivering child. We contemplate in silence with God, considering the work Jesus will accomplish in putting death to death.

Easter Vigil: this service literally MOVES you : )

We start out side with a fire pit to symbolize new life in the “new fire.” We light the Christ candle from the flames of the new fire to give the Christ candle (and all of us) new life.

The light of the Christ (from the Christ candle) moves us as we process into our darkened narthex / lobby area, where we – processing with our little candles – hear sung “The Exultant” (a beautiful chanting of God’s saving act of Jesus’ resurrection ).

Salvation History is shared as we hear stories from the Old and New Testaments.

The Gospel is proclaimed and we Affirm our Baptism – a gift from God reaching out to us.

We moved from Fire to the Word to the Font.

Finally, into a darkened sanctuary, with lights slowly rising until fully lit, we move from the Font to the Table! We celebrate the victory of our God by participating in this most Holy of meals. Revealed to us is our beautiful sanctuary full of God’s beautiful creation of flowers and Alleluia banners.

Indeed, a fitting tribute or our Lord. Thus ends our Easter Vigil, as we celebrate our Lord’s return.

Reflections on Easter will come in tomorrow’s blog post. Until then, here are the words of inspiration posted above:

Psalm 52:9 

I will give thanks to you, God, forever,

    because you have acted.

In the presence of your faithful people,

    I will hope in your name because it’s so good.

P (Prayer): Lord, remind me of your bountiful hope and mercy. Help me to know that you have called me for a purpose. Help me to live into this call and purpose my whole life long. Amen.

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