This past week was holy week, the week we journey with Jesus to the Cross; to hell and back, from death to life, from decent to resurrection. We take this journey and we tell this story for many reasons and for me this year I tell it to myself because in so many ways I need to not just know the story but to live it, to actually participate with Jesus in his death so that I can also participate with Jesus in his resurrection.
That was one of my main thought this weekend as I attended services and listened to sermons; I need a little resurrection. But as I re-told and re-lived this last week of the life of Jesus I re-membered (putting it all together) that I need to die in order to rise. That I need the death of Jesus to have the resurrection. That an important little fact for us; to participate in the resurrection (which we all cry out for) we must first participate in the death.
I don’t have my bible with me right now but somewhere Paul talks about this “participation” and I think participation, especially in this story is key for those of us to claim to follow Jesus.
Here are some holy week highlights:
*** Maundy Thursday; this Mandy Thursday (as you can read about in a previous post) I participated in a not so traditional Jewish Seder meal. It was a very cool time with a small group of friends to recall all that God has done to lead his people out of slavery, through his hand of grace and mercy, into a land of freedom and love. To think through this Passover meal and the significance of Jesus, the lamb of God being slain for and with us at this particular (Passover) time, all the symbolism and meaning that lies in this act is a very cool thing.
It was my favorite Seder to date! Thanks Heather!!! Jeanie and Andrea for a great Seder!
*** Good Friday; Good Friday, always a confusing title for me. I mean they killed him, they killed Jesus. Now don’t get my wrong, I understand why this is good (for me a sinner) on so many levels and I understand that the story doesn’t end here or we would call it bad Friday but the fact is they killed our Rabbi, they crucified our Jesus.
I wonder who started calling it “good Friday”? Surely it wasn’t the disciples, maybe the early fathers or something. Anybody know this one? I’ll wiki it sometime I guess. But if you are just retelling the story (chronologically) Friday is a depressing day until we get to Sunday, resurrection Sunday. I mean think of yourself being IN the story. Not knowing he was going to rise. Friday would have SUCKED hard core. It would have been the most devastating day in your life. We know in hindsight the goodness of Friday but if you are really participating in the story, not reading or participating ahead, Friday is a hell of a day.
This good Friday I went to a service at North Coast Calvary Chapel. And to say the least they read ahead, for them it was a celebration. Didn’t really seem fitting given the day but I understand the celebration. I wonder if in our liturgy we aren’t suppose to save that for Sunday but whatever.
It was a good service lead by an African American church from L.A. I always love being in a church that really represents the Church. You see church isn’t supposed to be a place where we all look alike and talk alike, and come from the same socio-economical background. It’s the CHURCH! To often our churches are clicks; they are homogeneous collections from our particular suburbia or zip code. It was good to be in a service that was really Church. It didn’t really feel like a good Friday service but it was cool all the same. And the lady behind Andrea and I kept speaking in tongues, that was interesting. ;-)
*** Resurrection Sunday; HE HAS RISEN!!! I woke up for a sunrise service. North Coast Calvary Chapel has a sunrise service on Ponto Beach in Carlsbad. It was at 6:30, SO EARLY, but it was on the beach, which was very cool. So we listened to the ocean waves and breathed in the crisp morning air. That was really about all we did. There were probably 1500 - 2000 or more people at the service. We sat about 75 - 85 yards away from the platform and couldn’t see a thing. Luckily for people as far back as us they put speakers up but to be honest the service was mediocre. Call me old fashion but I want to sing some good resurrection hymns, old or new I don’t care but lets run with theme, lets really sing about resurrection. The message was solid but I couldn’t even see Pastor Mark, which sucked but a good message anyway.
Honestly it didn’t feel like a Easter morning service to me so I ran home, showered, put on my eastern (white) shirt and went to another service. Las Flores Church of the Nazarene has a 9:00 service and it was really good. It was the best service to date at Las Flores and we all said, “He has risen…” “He has risen indeed.” It felt like eastern, the story was told, the church celebrated! It was good!!!
*** My holy Monday; really this started Sunday afternoon but I have been eating all the meat possible and at this very moment I am partaking in my first white chocolate mocha from star bucks in over 40 days, HE HAS RISEN! I gave up coffee and meat for lent. So after my Sunday morning resurrection Easter service the feast was on and after every bite of meat I proclaimed (often out loud) HE HAS RISEN! And as I drink this scrumptulensent white chocolate mocha I think again, HE HAS RISEN! Praise the Lord!
It was a very valuable Lenten season for me this year. I realized my humanity, my brokenness, I reflected and repented as gave up some valuable everyday things. And my desire for resurrection was also heightened in a way that I have never before experienced. I realize how important it is to live in a kind of anticipation, I believe it’s good for the heart & soul! It was a good Lent!
For now, I will continue to drink my amazing white chocolate mocha, reflect on the resurrection and participate in the Life of Christ, here and now because he has risen indeed!
In Christ; raised and running after the heart of God