Archive for April, 2012

Holy Week 2012

Dear Kindred in the Spirit,

In our worship today, the sad, weighty story of Jesus’ passion was lightened by the inclusion of children throughout the story. Jesus relied on the prayers of the psalms throughout his darkest time to buoy him up. We rely on the presence of the spirit to be with us in suffering. In today’s telling of the familiar passion narratives, everyone had a role and memory was aided by color and movement and dramatic readings. Thanks to all those who worked so hard to bring it together: readers, choir, worship team, those who brought props or volunteered other ways, the UMW who directed the chapel activities, the Media Team, the photographer, and the youth. Together, they brought the story alive, which has been our goal during this “24 hours that changed the world” series.

As we discussed in worship and Sunday school, knowing more about the historical context of Jesus’ life, through the study’s visits to the Holy Land, also helped make the story more real (or as one parishioner, more “physical”). Holy Week offers us an intense opportunity to find ourselves in the story. The service Thursday night offers a quiet, meditative way to explore the shadows of the story, and to ask what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean for us. A churchgoer in India offers this crucifixion lament:

Why did he even so willingly die
Knowing that I would reject the price?
Why did he my life buy
Knowing that I would refuse the prize?
Why did he not leave my side
Knowing that I would betray him more than thrice?
Why did he not lie
That he was not king and prove himself wise?
Why did he not fly
And escape to Paradise?
Why did he, on the Cross, heave a relieving sigh
Knowing that I would still doubt him to rise?
Why did he not eye
To bring down his purpose to my tiny size?
Why does he still stand denied
When all he ever did was to lift us to eternal skies?
— Gifts in Open Hands ed. by Maren Tirabassi

Lots of questions. May we take the time this week to ask how his story transforms our own? During the service, the children collected the readers’ ribbons after each story and transformed them into something–at the Easter service we’ll have a chance to see what they’ve done. And Rick Hutchinson took some great photos of the experience. (If there are no objections from any parents, we’ll use these photos to enhance our web presence).



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