I sent an e-mail invitation to my friends today and I would like to extend it to you:
Hi everybody, Hey, it’s nearly Easter! Here’s my church schedule in case anyone is interested in joining me for Holy Week services:
Tonight (Thursday) at 7:30: Maundy Thursday service at Trinity Presbyterian Church. It’s on the corner of Alameda De Las Pulgas and Brittan Ave. in San Carlos. Maundy Thursday is the celebration of the Last Supper. This will not be your standard average church service.
Tomorrow (Friday) at 12:00 noon: Good Friday service at St. Matthias Catholic Church on Cordilleras off Edgewood in Redwood City (near where you turn for Edgewood Park). This will be a multi-denominational service with many different priests/pastors presiding. I’ve never attended a multi-denominational service and think it will be pretty terrific (and probably very intense, as Good Friday is the day Christ was crucified). Trinity’s sanctuary will also be open from 12-3 for meditation and reflection on Good Friday.
Easter Sunday: Trinity Presbyterian will have Easter services at 9:00 at 10:30 a.m. I have a speaking part at these services, my first time participating in a Sunday-morning worship (woo hoo!). All of the services will last about an hour. My first real church experience was a Good Friday service while I was in high school, and it touched me deeply. You are all welcome to join me in celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. OK, that’s all. Happy almost Easter! Love, Lynn …who sincerely hopes nobody is offended or put-out by this message.
Anyway, I would love it if you felt drawn to join me at one of these services. My office will be closed tomorrow for Good Friday.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Tonight I went to the World Internet Center, drank a glass of wine, swapped some business cards. After that I drove to church. Maundy means commandment, a fact I didn’t know until tonight. This evening signifies the beginning of the end, the night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested. It’s been 2000 years since that happened. I sucked in my breath at Pastor Mary’s words. 2000 years and He hasn’t come back yet. What is He waiting for?
I sat next to a with-it, together young woman (well, she’s younger than me). I’d co-advised Quest, Trinity Presbyterian’s junior-high youth group, with her for more than two years. We looked at the cross, wrapped in black and purple net, on the altar, especially when Pastor Bob told the congregation to intently focus on its powerful imagery.
I leaned in to my friend. “Remember when we each carried it?”
She nodded. “I was just thinking about that. Wasn’t that weird?”
We had used the cross last year as part of a meditative exercise with the Quest kids. You haven’t lived until you’ve done contemplative religion with 10- to 12-year olds.
After the kids were gone, she and I had the responsibility of bringing the cross from the fellowship hall up to the sanctuary. I bore it, t-square on my back, my wrists dangling over the horizontal beam.
“Oh my… Lynn, that looks so freaky.”
“It’s pretty heavy. And it’s only six feet tall. Do you want to try carrying it?”
She eagerly affirmed and we switched places. I watched her walk in front of me. “Wow…” I said at the sight. “What do you think?”
“It’s really something. You’re right, it’s heavy.”
“And it’s nowhere near as big as Jesus’ was. And His back was laid open.”
We carried it the rest of the way in silence, taking our time to position it in its original spot downstage of the choir, which was both rehearsing and watching us bemusedly.
So anyway, I know that religion is a touchy subject. But sometimes you just gotta put something out there when nobody else thinks speaking would be appropriate. Pastor Bob characterized Peter as “the disciple with the foot-shaped mouth,” this evening. My friend and I stifled giggles.
Last summer I led a Christian leadership camp for incoming sixth-graders. My intentions weren’t entirely honorable – I wanted them to get to know me so they’d be more likely to come to Quest. We had a great time talking about everything from how to solve problems to bibliomancy to “The Blair Witch Project.”
The second-to-last day of camp, I was talking to my group of nine when Pastor Mary (who is a Ph.D. and the senior pastor of my church) entered the youth room and sat down on the floor. I introduced her and went on with my subject.
“What can we do when we’re facing a problem?”
“We can look at the ways it can be an opportunity,” Sterling replied.
“And why do we have problems sometimes?”
“Because we need to look at something a different way.”
“So who makes all this happen?” I asked.
“Why???” I asked them, prompting them to call out my favorite Scripture verse: “I SHALL FEAR NO EVIL, FOR THOU ART WITH ME!”
I took a breath. “Remember what we talked about the other day? About how some people shut Jesus out of their lives? How they build a brick wall around their hearts to keep Him out?”
“Why is that a stupid thing to do?”
“Because he’s already there,” a kid replied. Magic.
From those words, we launched some other subject, but I couldn’t tell you what it was, and I don’t recall at what point Pastor Mary left, either.
So go to church tomorrow, even if you sit in the back and don’t talk to anyone. Just listen to what the priest/pastor/reverend/elder has to say with an open mind. You might be surprised at your reaction to what it is you’re hearing.
And then come to Trinity Presbyterian Church at 9:00 this Sunday morning to hear me proclaim the good news: Christ is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed. Alleluia! Let the People Rejoice!