I have had some time to think about this Resurrection weekend and thought I would share some of my thoughts of how this weekend was challenging, depressing, hopeful and positive.
I will begin with this past Thursday. I attended my Sister’s Lutheran Church because my niece was going to receive her first communion. Since this was apart of the Holy Week and because I wanted to support her in her decision to take part in this very important sacrament, I made sure that I would be there for her. Knowing I was going to a Lutheran Church, I knew (or thought I knew) how important Holy Communion is. I was surprised and almost to the point of anger however, when the pastor (a woman who talked more about how she hated feet rather than getting to the point of her message which dealt with washing the disciple’s feet) had to battle through a message while the congregation talked to one another during the message, throughout communion, and out the door even though it said clearly in the bulletin, “Please leave quietly.” I was so angry at the end of the night, I felt like going up to one of the pastors of the church and having a few words with them. I have never been in a Lutheran Church where the Lord’s Supper was considered the most important aspect of worship in the service. These people (adults and kids alike) had no cares about what the significance of this night was all about. They cared more about “March Madness” and hitting the person behind them or in front of them and laughing the whole time (did I mention that the adults did this as well?) Now I am not a Luther Scholar at all but I would tend to believe that if Martin Luther were there, he would have made a little noise himself and then would have simply sat down and cried because those who were there did not care about the importance of this night. Maybe he would have just left and knocked the dirt off his feet and cursed the church. In any case, my eyes were open to how denominational stances are not as significant as they were even fifty years ago. The lines of division seem to have blurred by the lack of knowledge of those who attend these churches. Perhaps that is one thing I have learned.
Friday night’s service was simply amazing. I was so glad that I got to take part in the service at The Well. We had a smaller crowd but it was intimate. We had several dozen candles lit and a big cross in the front of the church. My parents even came out for the first time and really enjoyed themselves. Through the service, we were able to worship, pray, take communion together, participate in a foot washing, nail our sins to the cross, throw away 30 pieces of silver and meditate on Psalm 22 and 53. There was no hurry to the service. We heard perspectives of the cross from Judas, Peter, the thieves, Mary and Christ. As the night came to a close, I truly felt as though Christ was honored in our church that night. I left feeling as though a weight of crap fell off my shoulders and I could really concentrate on the death of Christ. What an awesome blessing.
On Saturday, I had to work. A long 12-hour shift was not what I was looking forward to. I would have rather spent the time in prayer and contemplation. Serving tables all day left little room for that to happen. And, when it did present some time to do so, I couldn’t even concentrate enough to do so. Usually, I feel like Saturdays are a waste of time for me, even though that is when I make the most money at my work. Spiritually though, I do not spend the kind of time I would like with Jesus. When I got done my work, I came home and almost immediately fell asleep. I wanted to be up early on Resurrection Day and go to church to pray. It didn’t happen that way though.
Sunday came and I woke at almost 10 AM. I had missed breakfast with my church family and rushed to get ready and moving to be at the service by 10:30. The service was all right. The kids in our church put on a play that I could hardly hear because they talked so softly. What I had gotten from the story though is that we are not good enough but with Christ we are forgiven. I personally do not know what that had to do with Resurrection Sunday but I guess because Christ died and rose again from the grave, we could experience this forgiveness for ourselves even though we are not perfect. Todd gave a simple yet effective message on sorrow turned to joy because Christ had risen from the grave. I can honestly say that even though it was a short message, it was one of his best (not because he kept it short either). It just made me think about what my life would have been like if Christ never rose from the grave. That is truly significant to me.
In conclusion, my Resurrection weekend was a 7 on a scale from 1-10. Thursday really beat me up a lot as I could not focus on Christ or the service. Saturday once again seemed like a waste of time for me. I am so glad however that Friday and Sunday were both great days of reflection and worship. I hope that next year, my situation will change and that next year I will be able to reflect more on the cross of Christ on Saturday and enjoy a more reflective time of contemplation on Thursday. Lord willing, my experience over the Resurrection weekend next year will be a 10. At least that is my goal. God bless