Friday 2 April 2010

Good Friday thoughts...

Such a mixture of things at this point in Holy Week.

Lots of trying to pull things together, trying to work out if the services and activities are working for other people, if the visiting archdeacon and bishop will be happy with their visits, whether the congregations will be happy with their visits, what people will turn up that we haven't seen before, running off the service sheets, the children suddenly being on holiday, the funeral suddenly coming in over the Easter weekend, the other funeral going a little high maintenance.

In the middle of it all - a still, small space to reflect on the cross, on the death of the God-made-man. On the willing sacrifice - 'hands that flung stars into space, to cruel nails surrendered' - an echo from the Maunday Thursday eucharist in Gloucester cathedral. Is it hard to find time to be a follower when leading a church? Not really - that feels too precious a place to take, a place that makes it all about 'me', not all about 'us'.

To keep Holy Week holy? I've enjoyed one or two blogposts about the difficulty of 'doing Holy Week' when all about us don't care that anything is different. The empty space of forlorn church buildings after the Maunday Thursday stripping, the sparse, minor key starkness of Good Friday worship. The deadness of Holy Saturday (or Easter Eve, or the Saturday of Holy Week - whatever urge you feel to call it!). That stays with me from childhood - Roman Catholic crocodiles through Dunblane, to and from the church, dusty streets, God being dead, for that little while.

It is Holy - even though I felt a little qualm at putting up the slightly cheesy banner (both text and yellow colour) after the Good Friday congregation had departed in silence - the banner inviting people to church on Easter Day - come and hunt your Easter Eggs! It is all muddled - life goes on. But surely it went on below the empty, bloodstained crosses? The disciples were empty and bereft - but not Jerusalem. The process goes around and around, every year, every two thousand years.

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