This year I was able to attend Maundy Thursday and Good Friday service. The Maundy Thursday service was very moving for me. The text for the evening is take from John 13. In that text, Jesus washes the feet of the disciple. It is a sign of love and service. Once he has done so, he tells them to do the same for others. What I didn’t know is that among the Christian faith traditions that observe this ritual, it has been thought that because Jesus did this with his disciples, it should be performed amongst men, and typically a (male) bishop will wash the feet of male pastors or seminarians. Fortunately (from my perspective) Pope Francis had broken from this tradition. Not only did he “stray” from washing the feet of priests, but he washed the feet of women as well. In defense of his break from tradition, the Vatican stated simply, “Washing feet was important to present the Lord’s spirit of service and love.”

Footwashing

I hadn’t really thought of all this until Pastor Clint put out a request on Facebook for a few people to participate in a foot washing ritual during service. I had never done so, and have been trying to step out of my faith-based comfort zone, so I volunteered. It was a lovely service that was a faith-filled antidote to a stressful day. It included the option for worshipers to experience the laying on of hands, which for me is always is always moving, personal & spiritual. What I didn’t anticipate was the power of the foot washing ritual-both both as washer & washed. It was Humbling, connecting and very real.–a quiet public witness of love & servitude. It was intense & profound in ways I am still processing.

Good Friday service is always a somber and commemorates Jesus’ cruxifixion. It is often a Tenebrae service. As the ELCA website explains “Tenebrae is usually held the evening of Good Friday and includes the gradual dimming of the lights and extinguishing of candles. The Christ candle is removed from the sanctuary and a concluding “Strepitus” or loud noise (slamming shut the Bible) symbolizes the earthquake and agony of creation at the death of Christ.” After service all exit quietly, without speaking in the dimmed lighting of the church. It too, is an incredibly powerful and moving worship experience.

Saturday, I got out on Bea the Blessed Harley and had a lovely contemplative ride down scenic Hwy 71. No one else was able to ride with me, and that made it a great time for personal reflection and gave me the chance to stop to appreciate the Spring beauty of the Ozarks. I stopped long the way to snap a few photos of the redbuds in bloom, unfortunately the photos don’t do the view justice.redbud2

Sunday was Easter and the service was a spirit-filled, joyous celebration of the resurrection. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated for this holy holiday and the choirs and musicians were in glorious form, “making joyful noise.” Pastor’s sermon was encouraging and thoughtful. He talked about Jesus as an interrupter. Now mind you, what you are getting is my take on the message. If you’d like you can hear it for yourself here. He talked about the fact that in the Gospel, wherever Jesus goes he encounters people in dire straits and he “interrupts” their situations with healing and a message of hope.–he completely involved himself. Then, on Easter as the women arrived to put oils on his dead body, they met the angel, and then Jesus himself who gave them a greeting. Pastor: “Every time the Christian community thinks this is a day like any other Jesus gets ahead of us and says, ‘Hello. I’m here. I go before you. Don’t be afraid.'” I love the image from the sermon, of Jesus going ahead, already living in the day as we arrive. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” So when we think this is a day like any other, we are reminded that no, Christ is alive in it and so are we. Good word.  Alleluia. He has risen indeed!  baptismal fontEaster

On a lighter note, our young people created Peep dioramas for Easter. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few of them. They are very creative.

diorama1 diorama2 diorama3 diorama4 diorama5

 

 

 

 

 

Tenebrae is usually held the evening of Good Friday and includes the gradual dimming of the lights and extinguishing of candles. The Christ candle is removed from the sanctuary and a concluding “Strepitus” or loud noise (slamming shut the Bible) symbolizes the earthquake and agony of creation at the death of Christ. – See more at: http://www.elca.org/en/Living-Lutheran/Ask-a-Pastor/2013/10/~/link.aspx?_id=8A91118FE3E341839E13E7444A33CBF6&_z=z#sthash.LlCCY5Fy.dpuf
Tenebrae is usually held the evening of Good Friday and includes the gradual dimming of the lights and extinguishing of candles. The Christ candle is removed from the sanctuary and a concluding “Strepitus” or loud noise (slamming shut the Bible) symbolizes the earthquake and agony of creation at the death of Christ. – See more at: http://www.elca.org/en/Living-Lutheran/Ask-a-Pastor/2013/10/~/link.aspx?_id=8A91118FE3E341839E13E7444A33CBF6&_z=z#sthash.LlCCY5Fy.dpuf
Tenebrae is usually held the evening of Good Friday and includes the gradual dimming of the lights and extinguishing of candles. The Christ candle is removed from the sanctuary and a concluding “Strepitus” or loud noise (slamming shut the Bible) symbolizes the earthquake and agony of creation at the death of Christ. – See more at: http://www.elca.org/en/Living-Lutheran/Ask-a-Pastor/2013/10/~/link.aspx?_id=8A91118FE3E341839E13E7444A33CBF6&_z=z#sthash.LlCCY5Fy.dpuf
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