Last night's Maundy Thursday prayer service that began with a Seder service led by the hilarious Rabbi Jeremy and ended with the solemn stripping of the altar, was well attended, a lot of fun at times and also very much focused on Jesus' being taken to be crucified. It was an amazing night of learning and prayer and introspection as to what his death means to us in today's society as well as what it meant to the people of his time. Some of our people were able to learn more about our own connection to the Jewish roots of our faith. It was a profitable time for us all. My husband was delighted that the Rabbi enjoyed so thoroughly the charoseth my husband had prepared for the Seder meal.
This morning my husband and his deacon led us through a series of prayers. A bare wooden cross adorned the front of the altar and as the appropriate verses in Psalm 22 were read, a crown of thorns and a purple cloth were draped on that cross. The palms from last Sunday's celebration of the Messiah were dried out and dropping on the floor, the remains of the matzoh crumbs littered the carpet from last night's Seder, the clergy didn't robe but instead wore dark clothing and black stoles. It was somber, like a funeral and that is the point of our Good Friday service. It continues the time of meditation on the sacrifice of Christ as we move toward tomorrow evening's Easter Vigil and the huge celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday morning.
My husband was fasting this morning. Between that and his accidental imbibing of several tablespoons of the corn sweetened Mogan David wine at the Seder the night before, he was rather light headed and vacant this morning. I doubt anyone else but myself was aware of his slight disorientation throughout the service, but at least mentally he was certainly in keeping with the disoriented mood of the event, haha. The Messiah was not leading his people to victory over their oppressors as they had expected, but was hanging dead on a wooden cross between two criminals. Talk about disorienting for the disciples and other followers who had not understood Jesus' message to them about what he was about to experience and that his Messiah-ship was meant in a more spiritual sense until his return...whenever that turns out to be.
Despite getting ourselves into the wrong lane of traffic as we accompanied some parishioners to the nearest McDonalds for coffee after the service, we did manage to arrive there not too long after they did and we had a lively discussion while we drank our coffee and snacked on muffins. After the sadness of the church service it was refreshing to get "back into this world" with a handful of others who had just experienced the same reflections and prayers that we had.
We came home in time to make lunch. As I was opening the margarine container to spread some on my sandwich bread, I made a rather unnerving discovery! Inside the container were two cups of charoseth that this very morning I thought I had delivered to the office of the United church minister in our shared church building. So, if I had a container of charoseth in my refrigerator....ummmm.....it must mean that sitting on the desk of the United Church minister was a carton of margarine!! Aiiii yiiiii..........I admit to wolfing down my lunch in a most unladylike manner before racing back to the church to make the exchange before the United Church minister discovered the error at his congregation's service! Sigh....okay, it wasn't just my husband fighting disorientation this morning...and I wasn't even fasting!! hahahahaha Some early mornings are like that....
At home we had several birthday and anniversary emails awaiting us from various friends and family for my husband's 64th birthday and our 39th anniversary. My husband has a plethora of interesting birthday cards, one of the funniest being from Ontario friends: there is a photo of a policeman talking to a priest he has stopped for a driving infraction. The policeman asks the priest if he has been drinking, and the priest responds, "No officer, just water......good Lord, He's done it again!" hahahahaha
(If you aren't sure why this is funny, get out your New Testament and look up the account of the wedding in Cana in the Gospel of John, chapter 2, vs 1-12.)
Right now I am writing this from the Synod office. My husband asked me to come to work with him this afternoon and just "be around" while he works on some computer problems he would like to have fixed for the rest of the staff when everyone returns to work on Tuesday. The full allergy reaction to the Mogan David is hitting him since lunch time and he decided that rather than lay around feeling miserable at home he would prefer to come to the office when no one is here to interrupt him and get this project completed. Normally I would have a fit about him working after Good Friday services because he doesn't get his day off next Tuesday, but I think he will feel that a lousy day of allergy has been redeemed if he can accomplish something over here. He is certainly good at making the best of a day where he isn't feeling well.
We are hoping we can locate some sort of cozy, inexpensive restaurant open this evening where we can have a bit of an anniversary celebration. Tomorrow, the actual day, he has a sermon to complete for Sunday, a baptismal class in the afternoon and the Easter Vigil in the evening. I may skip the Vigil if I am as tired then as I am right now. It doesn't start until 9pm and I need to be in my best cheerleading form to help my husband get up early on Sunday morning for the big Resurrection celebration.
Happy Happy Easter everyone! May the meaning of this season bury itself deep in your own hearts and then rise up in power and healing in your own lives as needed.