Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Monday Morning Thoughts

A wonderful weekend, the Holy Triduum followed by our Easter celebration. Singing Easter hymns with a shut-in. Lamb for Easter dinner. Sleeping in Monday morning (well, what is sleeping in for me!). I like getting up early and getting work done in the quiet, pre-dawn hours, but not this morning. This morning was for rest.

My post-Easter tradition has been to take Monday off and go play golf, but can't this year. Two large school papers due soon and I have to push the accelerator to get them done. So back to the grind later this morning. But not yet. A little quiet and reflection this morning.

How were your services? I love the Triduum. Holy Thursday and the gift of our Lord's Supper. Smaller attendance than I hoped for at the service. My children played violin for the hymns. Beautiful. Especially the last one, O Sacred Head Now Wounded.

Good Friday. Great and Holy Friday. Noontime meditations on "The Way of the Cross" as we call it. Sort of a modified "Stations of the Cross." We do this at a local adult care community where one of our members lives. This service has grown on me over the years, and I look forward to it. Very different than the Tenebrae service in the evening with the Reproaches and the darkness. Yet the Christ candle never being extinguished. For the second year now, we have concluded the service as Bach concluded his St. John Passion, by singing these words:

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abr'ham's bosom bear me home, That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me, That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face, My Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end. (LSB #708, v. 3)

A great way to end Good Friday - by focusing not on the sadness of Jesus' death and feeling sorry for Him, but what it really means. Pro me.

Then the Easter Vigil. Quiet, calm, reflective, baptismal remembrance, a taste of Easter joy. It is the perfect bridge from Good Friday to the full-throated joy of Easter morning. Larger attendance than I expected! Many folks are still not used to this service, but I hope it becomes a favorite for them as it is for me.

And then the morning! Alleluia! Christ is risen! The very first words that sound forth in the service. A full-blown festival Divine Service. The great joy.

Now, back to the grind. But leave Easter behind? No. How could we? That will be my sermon for Wednesday Evening Prayer. The apostles went back to fishing, but they did not leave Easter behind. Everything was changed. Peter's reaction is the witness to that. Come listen if you're in town! But so too for me. Back to school work, reading, writing, papers, languages, questions, struggles. But not the same. Never the same. One never leaves Holy Week the same way you enter. The Word of the Lord does its work. Thanks be to God.


Rev. James Leistico said...

He is Risen!

It was quite a nice thought after church yesterday realizing that for the first time in a month I won't have at least 4 services in a week (2 Sunday, a midweek, and at least 1 funeral - 8 funerals since Christmas, and most of those during this past Lent). The life, peace, and rest from Christ's resurrection is very welcome. And today is time for the family - which is probably a good thing since my brain says it isn't ready to think and write theologically again yet.
The Risen Lord grant you wisdom as you work on your studies my dear brother Jim.

Pastor Peasant said...

Thanks, Jim. You've had quite a Lenten season! Not only with the additional duties and responsibilities, but the pain of losing saints from your flock. It is never easy, is it? I will keep you in my prayers for rest and recovery and the blessing of the Lord's comfort.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for me as well. It's been a rough semester. I thought this would get easier as I progressed through the program, but that hasn't really been the case. This has been one of my rougher semesters. But the good news is that I am almost done with my classes - only one more to go! Then onto comps and dissertation . . . :-)