It's Good Friday, and I woke up with those words from Revelation ringing in my ears. That's probably because I played the beautiful rendition by Handel several times yesterday while making dinner. It's become the anthem of this Holy Week.
It's been an odd week, without nearly enough time to focus, center on Jesus, and pray. This is the first year I've done parish administrative work during Holy Week, and there is a lot to be done around a church office in preparing for Easter. I know the work itself is good, especially in the ways it paves the way for others to come into God's presence during this holy time, but I've missed having more inner, contemplative time.
It turns out that I've done most of my best praying with my four year old, as her Daddy and I have been trying to share, in various ways all week, the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. My good friend Sandy, whose husband is a current seminarian at Trinity, let us know earlier this week that some of the seminary students had set up a very moving stations of the cross in the seminary chapel basement, and so S. and I went over there the other afternoon and went through the stations together.
It was a moving experience on several levels, one of the most basic being that I hadn't been in the chapel building in over two years. The first few years we lived here, I worshiped in that space daily (as a student) and then at least weekly (via seminary mid-week eucharist, and/or Sunday morning worship when our parish was housed there). The sweet girl was baptized in that chapel. And the basement area where the first station was set up was the space in which I used to tutor students in an after-school program, as well as where I used to attend some classes. In other words, that little building is a space which I loved and lived and worshiped in for a number of years, and it felt sacred and set apart for that reason alone.
Then the stations themselves were very powerful. A combination of symbols, signs and artwork, much of the art done by children or young people. S. was most taken with the room with the giant wooden cross on the floor, and the temple curtain ripped in two right next to it. The room was lit by reddish light, and there was a pile of nails near the cross as well as some tiny, shiny medallions that looked red in the light and recalled drops of blood. We sat for a while in front of that ripped curtain talking about how Jesus' death, in our place and on our behalf, made a way through the "wall" or the curtain that had blocked our way to God the Father. I could sense these truths seeping into my little girl's heart. I could sense them seeping deeper into mine.
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12)