Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Busy Week?

As I was showering this morning, I was thinking about this week that is now almost past. Many folks know that Holy Week is a very busy week for pastors. It is indeed. But I also want you to know how wonderful a week it also is. This week I got to spend so much time in the Word of God and prayer! Much more than usual. It was like bathing in it. The usual Morning Prayer with some of you, but also Saturday this week. The reading of the Passion accounts and the praying of the Great Litany on Monday through Wednesday. Holy Thursday, Good Friday noontime and evening, and the Great Vigil of Easter. And not only doing these services, but thinking, preparing, studying, writing, praying - what a fortunate time of feeding and drinking in the Word of God! What a wonderful week.

Could every week be this way? Well, I suppose that is what the monastic life is like. But we are called to ora et labora - pray and work. So as wonderful as this week was, there is much work to be done and that must continue in teaching, visiting, serving, helping, and all that comes with the pastoral ministry. But here is where rubber of ora et labora hits the road - prayer leads us to work, and work leads us to prayer. The Word of God and prayer leads us out into the world to work and serve, and working and serving in the world (and the weariness and beatings that come with it) lead us back to the Word of God and prayer. And that is as it should be, until our Lord comes to take us to His eternal rest.

Which is what this Holy Saturday is about - our Lord's sabbath rest in the tomb. It is a quiet day, an in between day. Good Friday is past, Easter is not yet. But tomorrow . . .  :-)

Rest well, Beloved, sweetly sleeping,
That I may cease from further weeping,
And let me, too, rest well.
The grave that is prepared for Thee,
And holds no further pain for me,
Doth open Heaven to me,
and close the gates of Hell.
(from JS Bach, The Passion according to St. John)

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