Monday morning check in – 3/17/08

HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!!!  Oops, I don’t think we are supposed to be celebrating saints during Holy Week…

…well…let’s try this…

…HAPPY MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK (Hmmm…doesn’t quite roll of the tongue…does it?).  Oh well…

…It’s Monday of Holy Week and I feel a sense of…well…I am not sure if I have the right words here.  Last week I wrote that I was Tired and Excited.  This week it feels like I have more energy and drive within me.  I don’t feel as mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually tired as I was last week.  I guess that is not too surprising since Holy Week and Easter is one of my favorite times of the year (Christmas being the other).  But one thing that does make me a little nervous is that my secretary has been sick since Wednesday night.  That meant on Thursday (bulletin day) I was playing "pastor" and "secretary".  And let me tell you…I have a whole new appreciation for what Vicki does.  I have always known that she is an incredible person and does valuable ministry here, but when I was thrust into her position for a while I got to see (and feel) some of the pressure she has to deal with.  All I can say is this:  "Vicki…you are a very important and valuable person to the ministry of Salem Lutheran Church.  And if no one else says it, let me say it here for all the world to hear:  I appreciate you so much!  But don’t feel you need to hurry back.  Take care of yourself, get some rest and take it easy.  I look forward to seeing you across the hallway very soon."

Quick side bar
Even though, "technically", we are not supposed to celebrate saints during Holy Week can I still wear green and not get into "trouble"?

Palm Sunday
Yesterday I continued my tradition of beginning worship with a Palm Sunday celebration and ending it with the reading of the Passion Story.  It is always a powerful time for me (and from what I hear, for others as well).  But one thing I noticed (and my wife and I talked about this afterward) is that there were a lot of kids getting a little restless during the long Passion reading.  After worship, Connie and I brainstormed the idea that next year we take the kids out before the Passion Story (on Palm Sunday) and Connie would read a children’s version of the story downstairs while the parents/adults stayed with me for the Passion reading.  The thought is that as the kids processed in with palm branches they would recess out with their palm branches.  I have never been a big advocate of removing children from worship, but I think I would make an exception here.  Does any else have thoughts on this?

God blessings to you this St. Patty’s Day (oops…I mean Monday of Holy Week) and I wish for you a week full of love as we hear about the Passion of our Lord and the gift of eternal life for each of us.

Take care!
-edh-

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6 responses to “Monday morning check in – 3/17/08

  1. What we have done in recent years is to find new ways of reading the Passion narrative. Yesterday we had a narrator read the portions that were not direct quotes of others, and then parishioners from varoious places in the congregation stood and read the words of their respective character. Several were seleted before hand to make the shouts of the crowd to free Barrabas and Crucify.

    It was a very effetive and emotional reading, and since the people who read the text were among those hearing, everyone, including children were captivated.

  2. I like that. Thank you.

    One year during the Good Friday worship (when we were focusing on the 7 last words) I had someone up in the dark balcony that shouted “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani”. People jumped in their seats when that was shouted. It even made me jump and I knew it was coming.

  3. Yesterday I got to hear the chanting of the passion story from the seminary musician along with another professionally trained seminarian. It was really awesome and something that I will carry with me for along time.

    Even though this year things are alittle hard – Easter is one of my favorite times of the year as well. I hope you enjoy your time!

  4. There are also “dramas” – one resource might be “Trunk in the Attic” which a drama ministry of an ELCA pastor. We used a drama for Good Friday that involved youth and adults last year that everyone really got into.

  5. First, thanks for the promo… second, we too read the Passion Story, it was actually the basis of the majority of our worship. We paused at what I felt were appropriate times in the story to share in Communion, prayers, confession, etc. We had a couple of other readers to help provide the “voices” of the story. It was awesome… according to me.

    Here’s the thing, though. I also experienced the kids in the pews getting restless. Honestly, I think we ALL get restless. If it’s not from the story getting long (we don’t normally listen that much) then it’s from the uncomfortable nature of the story… and it is an uncomfortable story. Our Lord & Savior is getting attacked and killed for heaven’s sake (and ours as well, I suppose we should note). It can’t help but make us restless. I say, “Let the kids stay and get uncomfortable. I think it’s good for them.”

    (*as a footnote, though, we can’t forget the parents who may, or may not, be struggling with their kids getting a bit restless… if for their sake you need to do something, then maybe you need to do something)

  6. I agree…we all get a little restless when we dive into and really reflect on what Christ did for us. My fear is that the parents are spending so much time taking care of their kids and others are being so distracted that people are not getting “uncomfortable” with the story, because they are not truly diving in and listening.

    Thanks for the thoughts and for stopping by. Have a very blessed Easter.