Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Week Highlights

  • Palm Sunday had everything: procession with palms, a children's play about donkeys, the Passion reading, a baptism, communion with a huge crowd ... when David showed me his watch during the last hymn I couldn't believe it. We were right on time. Trust your supervisor, padawan.

  • On Wednesday after chapel the teachers went out for lunch at a nice restaurant by the old bridge with outdoor seating. Outdoor seating has become a key motivator in our lives. You would not believe the gorgeousness of these days. It is as gorgeous now as it was hailing and sleeting every day about 2 weeks ago.

  • On Maundy Thursday I gave a children's sermon and, with the help of the BIC kids, did some footwashing. I'm not sure I can convey it, but it was both fun and sacramental. I gave a sermon with the theme, "If you're a disciple, your feet are going to get dirty." Jesus washes the dust of sin, death, and everyday weariness from our feet; as the body of Christ, we do likewise for each other. We hope to get that sermon (and a backlog of other BIC sermons) posted on our website, soon. Near the start of the service Sean and I joined David and Carla singing a shapenote arrangement of Amazing Grace; I couldn't catch my breath but it was still a dream fulfillment moment for me to sing soprano in a gospel quartet.

  • On Good Friday I got to be an acolyte, which I really do enjoy. David's sermon, "How close is God?" included the line: "You cannot be alone."

  • In the midst of this David and I did a good bit of preparation for the services and we managed to work enough through the week that Saturday was free. Sean cooked and cooked in preparation for the Easter potluck. I slept most of the day and went to bed early.

  • On Easter we baptised a sweet one-year-old boy and had a pretty great service all-around; one of our youth played trumpet, which I think is what really "made it Easter" for me. In David's sermon he proudly identified himself as one of the "April fools" ... "foolish" enough to believe in the "foolishness" of the cross, the way Jesus defies every expectation. We had a really good potluck where there was enough food for everyone (!) and it was quite delicious. Then a nap. Then one of our teacher friends (and later David and Carla) came over for grilled burgers, toasted marshmallows, chocolate bunny and stargazing on our deck.

  • The next morning we took the train to Vienna to do nothing for two days. It was glorious. This picture from the Schönbrunn gardens sums it up pretty well. More pictures here.

  • Every year we sing the same hymns, but every year I catch them a little differently. This year it was the last verse of "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded," which we sang on Good Friday: "Lord, be my consolation; shield me when I must die; remind me of thy Passion when my last hour draws nigh. These eyes, new faith receiving, from thee shall never move; for he who dies believing dies safely in thy love." This tied in well with David's sermon message: you will never be alone. Even if your eyes DO waver, even if doubt and fear fill you at crucial moments--we are always safe in God's love. Easter, with its resurrection joy and hope, is especially welcome in my family this year. Blessings on you and yours as you celebrate: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!