Friday, April 3, 2015

Almost Time for Spring Break!

Yep, after work today starts our week of freedom!  This year the time off will be even more enjoyable since my DD is hosting the holiday dinner on Sunday--no hyper-cleaning the house for me!

I hope to catch up with girlfriends, rescue the root-bound plants in my dismal garden, relocate them to better spots around the yard and give my elderly mouse catcher the attention he deserves.  It'll be grand.  Oh, and I get to sleep in!  I can always catch up with the 5:50 a.m. editions of The Writer's Almanac another week.

Easter is my favorite "holiday."  Not the pastel dresses on adorable little girls or nibbling the ears off chocolate bunnies, but the reason for the celebration.  Good Friday is pretty rough, but Sunday morning is amazing.

Here's a story I wrote this year for Good Friday.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

There is no rest for the weary soul

 at the wonderful church my family attends.  Babies are

 squalling, toddlers are dancing in the aisles and teen guys

 are sitting quietly, like adorable choirboys, all the while

 stealth texting each other.  Packs of girls frantically wave to

 friends, then scoot over to make room for one more.

Once the sermon begins I close my eyes to help me

 concentrate, and it usually works pretty well.  Thanks

 to the youngster sitting behind me who kicks the back of my

 chair every so often, there's no danger of falling too fast

 asleep.  If I eliminate the visual riot going on amongst

 the congregation during the sermon I can follow along much

 better, and it's really worth it to follow along.  Let

 me hear a good sermon and I've got enough material to last

 me through a whole week, with all the changes I need to make

 in my heart and life.

 There is one service during the year that is completely

 different from all others--the Good Friday service.  We

 enter the sanctuary quietly, sing contemplative hymns,

 listen to narratives from the Gospels, pray and leave in


 Volunteers sit in a row in front of the rest of us, usually

 about four people, and they take turns reading Bible

 passages beginning with the Lord's Supper and ending with

 Jesus' crucifixion.  One person is the narrator and

 the others take on parts. They probably have a quick

 practice together before the service and they look a little

 nervous; they're folks I scarcely recognize from Sunday

 mornings and I'm interested in getting to know them by

 listening to their voices.

 One year the man reading the words of Judas did not look

 "the part."  When he began reading Judas' words from

 the Lord's Supper narrative he seemed so humble and

 honest.  It didn't match my imagined snapshot of

 Judas.  As he read later passages his voice took on a

 sinister tone and when he finally spoke the words of

 betrayal, I was shivering.

 The effect of hearing the exact text from the Gospels is

 sobering, and saddening.  It makes it easier to imagine

 the emotions of Jesus, knowing that he would be betrayed and

 have to undergo real death.  Later in life I came to

 understand that the worst part of His suffering was to be

 separated from His Father while He voluntarily stayed on the

 cross, for me.

 We all left the service without talking and walked out of

 the building into the warm, spring air.    Once

 outside, we could take a deep breath and say good-bye to

 friends, ending with the familiar line, " See you Sunday."

 The only way to bear the grief of Good Friday is to look for

 the early light on Easter morning, shining on an empty



No comments: