holy week- monday
Even though it is now wednesday, i’m going to write about monday.
I haven’t really reflected much on holy week since I became a Christian. Growing up in the Catholic church this week was a huge week. I remember the palm processional on palm sunday (this was so awesome to me when i was a kid). I remember the Thursday night footwashing service and veneration of the cross. I remember the stations of the cross on Friday and the black shroud over the giant mosaic jesus that was behind the altar (it’s the one in the picture). My favorite service of the year was the easter vigil. It was on Saturday night- it was long, but the church was dark and we all got candles (I still love playing with candles). We would sit in the dark pews, and even though I fell asleep or almost fell asleep during most of the long easter vigil services, I loved listening to all the stories of the bible… we would start in Genesis and read a few passages all the way through the bible.
There was just so much symbolism in those services… so much meaning. I didn’t get it all then, and if I did I think I would have become a Christian much much earlier, but I still loved those masses.
Monday night I brought some of my old Catholic tradition to my middle-school-girls small group. I wanted them to really get what this week was all about (something that is very hard for me to even do). I got this idea to do the stations of the cross with the girls. I spent all afternoon researching the stations of the cross, writing descriptions for each station, painting each one (yes, I painted all fifteen…) and setting up the room with pillows, candles, sheets, and paintings. It took far more time then I usually spend planning for small group, but it was completely worth it.
All I can say is that God spoke that evening- to me and the girls. I saw them really get it, and those moments are my favorite in youth ministry. We all spent time with God, we all reflected on that holy yet so very horrible day that Christ carried his cross, and we prayed. I now have a shoebox stuffed with the prayers the girls wrote at each station. Such profound prayers from such young people… It’s amazing to see God work.
We need to bring the holy and the sacred back into our lives. We need to give ourselves time and the space to slow down to experience the holy. And sometimes we need to stop reading and learning about God and simply let ourselves experience Him…. those are the moments that change us in profound ways… those are the moments we will remember forever… those moments we touch the Holy…