-Rev Melissa Fain-
Easter is the most important day in the Christian calendar. (I'm supposed to say "debatably the most important" to I leave some wiggle room for those who don't agree. Let me say, here at Fig Tree Christian it is the most important.)
We can't understand the importance of the most important day unless we visit the Holy days that lead up to it. It's an exploration of the darkness. We must understand the shadows if we are to truly experience the light.
Now, this year has officially become the hardest year in my 10 years as an ordained minister. Yes, that includes everything you already know about my journey. This is the very first year I don't wanna go. Life is dark enough. My heart turns to the homeless, who can't self-isolate. I lament the hourly workers (who I am part of) that now find themselves unemployed. I cry every time I think of the word "plague." This is our world right now. Why do we need any more right now?
Black paint by itself is meaningless- if we paint with it we can give it meaning.
The reason we need Holy Week is because it orders our chaos. Then we can tell it how far it is allowed to go and no further. Otherwise, it will wash over anything good, and sweep it away. I refuse. Goodness exists, and I'll walk through anything to get to it. I'll sacrifice. I'll fight.
Paint with me. (Figuratively of course. I paint with words.) I promise I'm not going to leave you in the darkness, and I promise you won't be alone. Take away the darkness' power by naming it. Name it with me, and when we're through- we'll reach the light. To all this- I promise.
A quick guide to Holy Week:
Palm Sunday: Every year churches across the world buy up palm fronds. Little kids walk the palms up the Communion table, and it's like a mini-celebration. Palm fronds are something special, but the scripture talks about cloaks and coats being thrown down too. So, we're going to bringing our coats to lay at the table. We also often forget this moment, Jesus coming into Jerusalem was the beginning of Holy Week. It was the lynch-pin event. We are going to talk about the "don't go into the marsh!" event that is Palm Sunday.
Maundy Thursday: This is recalling the very first Communion, and how scandalous it all was. What were the Disciples thinking was coming, and what Jesus saying was actually going happen? Could they possibly understand?
Good Friday: This is the day that everything is broken. It's good because he's dead? How are we to live in this moment? We die too. We kill what can't continue, and we realize in that act, we are good too. We trust God so much, we are giving it up and giving it to God.
Holy Saturday: Nothing. The space between. The sacred rest. We meditate on the "not yet."
Easter: Death is defeated, because New has taken it's place. It's jarring because light in the darkness is sudden and real.