I am working into this, this Holy Week.
Trying to find my place, in the words, in the music, in the ministry, in the liturgy...
It's easy to disconnect from it when my part is ancillary...
It's easy to go through the motions of it...
I suppose that is why I need the cross, then, isn't it? I am standing there, right now,
feeling petty and small
instead of getting it.
Last night, at the Maundy Thursday service, the music was transcendent and deep.
We always do foot washing, communion, and then a service of Tenebrae. The youth do the readings. We all sit around two long tables in the shape of the cross. After each reading, the reader extinguishes a candle, and then joins the congregation, until the church becomes completely dark.
I love watching the faces of the youth. They are squirmy, and haven't practised their readings, and are nervous and giggly, all the while they are reading about the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus. Such a juxtaposition--but somehow it works for me. In the past, I would have given them my teacher eye--you know what I am talking about--the look that says it all to shape up and be serious and reverent---I have perfected that look. However, now I just gaze upon the youth, with a half smile on my lips, loving them the way they are. They are always serious when they actually read.
It's a hard and intimate thing, reading these scriptures. Just like adolescence--it's hard, it's intimate, it's uncomfortable, it's happy, it's dreadful, it's beautiful and sad--it's so so much. Just like the Passion of Christ.
Our seminary intern asked me after the service, if it was hard, seeing these amazing kids grow up, and then leave. You know--it's not. I love watching them develop and grow--and yes I miss them when they move on, but they always, always stay in my heart. Even when I forget them over time, and then remember. It's the stuff of ministry. It's the stuff of love.
It's the stuff of Passion, and hopefully, of Resurrection.