Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcome Back Alleluia, It's Good to Have You Home

The Sunday before Ash Wednesday there was a group of children standing before the altar holding a banner that they had made in Sunday School. The banner a simple piece of fabric had been decorated by the little ones with the words, “Good bye Alleluia.” They had learned in their class that the word Alleluia would not be used or sung again until Easter, and it was time to say good bye as the days ahead would be a time of quiet preparation, not a time to shout the Alleluias that we sing throughout the rest of the year. The children folded the fabric into a small square and put it in a basket that had a lid and they slid it beneath the altar. One little blue eyed blond girl, very young, taking the time to turn and wave good bye as she walked away.

I’m not sure what they were told in Sunday School, it being for the little ones, of course, I didn’t hear the lesson, I don’t fit on a chair that size very well any more. I can imagine what they may have been told and I can see them furiously working on the project, markers flying, knowing that they didn’t have much time to complete their work before it would be presented to the congregation so that we may say our good byes as well. I think that it was a good lesson for the beginning of Lent. A good way to teach children and with great subtleness, teach we adults too that there was a time coming to start looking within and without.

It is during the season of Lent that it seems that nature provides the most darkness, grey inky days, and for central Indiana this year, we had brutal winds and ice pellets that stung the skin while one tried to scrape the earlier deposits of ice from one’s windshields. In the wee hours of the morning, with a scraper in hand that was designed for delicate frost patterns, not thick ice, it’s a little hard to think of Christian charity and introspection. There are those who are doing it though, like the guy who lives next door who is a junior in high school. He started his little pick up truck and while my van was running we cleaned ice from my windshield and then we worked on his. It’s true, many hands make light work, but what’s more, in the pitch black of a late February morning, it’s good to have someone who is helping and offering to do so from a warm heart. Tim had no idea what he was doing for me, an unknown offering of grace. I’m very grateful for his offering.

This past Sunday as the procession of the congregation, palms in hand, walked to the red doors of the church, I was reminded that I had read recently that often the doors of churches are painted red because it symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit within. For me, a great symbol, on this Sunday though, it seemed that red should be the color of the coats thrown before the Victor on his entry into the city.

Throughout the week, I thought about how our days were changing, weather-wise, even though it was hard to believe as I scraped frost one morning and the wind blew through my light jacket. There was a warm breeze though as I walked into the church on Maundy Thursday, in fact I did so in shirt sleeves and I paused outside of the red doors and listened to a robin sing, though I could not see it. In that bird song just outside of the church I felt a sense of hope and found peace in those musical notes. Inside there were reminders of what Lent is for, what the ride to Jerusalem was all about, simple chairs lined in a row, a basin and a stack of towels, the leader of the church on his knees pouring water from a stone ewer on the feet of his parishioners, I had a chill as the vision of Jesus doing this very thing came to mind. Then, rising to his feet, I could see Jesus drying his hands on the towel wrapped around his waist as he discussed the meaning of this act with Peter.

On Good Friday, a day that had been very trying for me at work; my body aching from lifting trays of Easter Lilies and loading them into the van for delivery, my mind kept thinking about what Good Friday means to me as one of the stepping stones on the way to the tomb. When the end of the day came, I couldn’t think of any place on my body that didn’t hurt, and then as I entered the door of the church and then saw the barren altar, in my mind I saw the image of Christ nailed to the cross, his head lying on his chest. I heard in the message that night that in the New English Bible that it doesn’t say, “it is finished,” before Christ breaths his last, rather it says, “it is accomplished.” I knew that my pain was nothing, and I felt shame in thinking about it.

This morning, (Saturday) as I pulled myself from bed, where it was warm and the city sounds were muffled, I felt those same aches and pains, only intensified and I reminded myself, this is nothing like many feel each day and it certainly is nothing like what Jesus suffered, grab your self by your Reebok strings and move on I told myself.

Later Saturday, evening:

The church was dark, there were no lights anywhere, including on the face of the building, nothing to make it look welcoming, though over the door the sign read, “everyone welcome.”
Inside it was cold and dark, very tomb like and then I felt what a friend of mine calls, “Holy Spirit Bumps,” she doesn’t have goose bumps. Scriptures were read that brought to mind exactly how we got to this point, the journey to the cross began with Moses and the Passover and it never occurred to me that the scripture tells very plainly that Jesus was placed in the tomb on the evening of preparation, he would have been in the tomb at the beginning of Passover. Suddenly, the bells that were ringing throughout the church and the lights that were coming on all through the sanctuary proclaimed that Christ has broken from the tomb and that we should too.

Welcome back Alleluia, welcome back.



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Blogger Esraa Abbas said...

10:03 AM  
Blogger Esraa Abbas said...

10:03 AM  
Blogger RAGAB KAMAL said...

شركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف بحائل للتنظيف أهمية كبيرة جدا لانها تجل المكان دائما نظيف

وجيد كيى تتواصل مع اقاربك وجيرانك فنحن نقدم شركة

تنظيف بحائل
ولانها الشركة الرائدة والمشهود لها بالكفائه العاليه بما فعلته من

انجازات فى اعمال التنظيفالجاد بافضل وسائل التنظيف الحديثه والمعدات المتطوره فى تنظيف

الفلل ومقدم ايضاشركة تنظيف فلل بحائلويقوم طاقم العمل الكبير المدرب على اعله

مستوى بتنظيف الشقه بدون التسبب بأى إزعاج للعميل فلا تتباطؤ فى إختيار شركة الكمال

لتنظيف منزلكم لأنها أفضلشركة تنظيف شقق بحائللأن تنظيف

المجالس يحتاج إلى وقت طويل وجهد كبير فشركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب

بحائل كفيلة بتنظيف مجلسك سواء كان عربى او مجلط او كنب فى أسرع وقت وبدون جهد

وبالتالى شركة الكمال هى الحل الأمثل فى فى مجال تنظيف المجال بحائل ونحن بانتظاركم فى

اى وقت واى مكانشركة تنظيف مجالس بحائلوأفضل مايميز شركة الكمال أفضل شركة

تنظيف عام بحائل وضعها للخطط قبل البدء فىشركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب بحائل
شركة تنظيف سجاد

وموكيت بحائل
كما نقدم ايضا بقيت خدمات التنظيف ومنها تنظيف الواجهات التى تكون

هى وجهت البيت ودليل نظافة البيت شركة تنظيف واجهات بحائلشركة

الكمال أفضل شركة كشف تسربات المياه التى من خلالها نقدر ان نحافظ على البيت من

الانهيار والهدم ةالحفلظ ايضا على فتورة المياه شركة

كشف تسربات المياه بحائل
كما نقدم ايضا خدمه من اهم الخدمات التى تهم كل العملاء

وهى شركة نقل اثاث بحائلوذلك تحت اشراف فريق عمل كبير مدرب على

اعله مستوى من الكفائه العاليه والخبرة الكبيرة فى نقل العفش والاثاث والمشهود له بالخبرة

والكفائه من جميع عملائنا الكرام

1:22 PM  

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