Monday, April 18, 2011

The Easter Minister's (Mom's) Dilemma

Remembering this feeling... repraying this prayer, so reposting this post. 
All you ministers, moms (and dads) out there - May your Holy Week preparations be a blessing to you!


This is a strange time of year to be a Minister.
It's Monday of Holy Week, and I am trying to get my mind into Easter mode so I can write THE sermon, but Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are still on the horizon, and I am a huge proponent of intentionally living in each day of Lent and really experiencing the journey.  Also, today I bought like a carload of easter basket crap, two dozen eggs and some dye, and all the ingredients to make my famous white chocolate lemon Easter Cake to bring to Aunt Sue's for the big get together on Easter afternoon. And I have to make sure my daughter has tights for her new Easter dress, and we can find my son's dressy shoes from Christmas (and that they still fit), so they can be all adorable for church and the egg hunt and the family photos. So I guess being a mom takes as much thinking ahead, and makes it equally hard to live deliberately on the journey.
Lent is certainly easier to observe than Advent, and it's nowhere near the chaos of Christmas, but there is so much "stage setting" you do, so that others can encounter each moment, that you don't really get to meet the moments yourself.  So that they get the magical experience/full glory of Easter, you are the one who buys the candy, fills the baskets and hides the eggs / plans the worship, pays the trumpeter and writes the sermon.  And there are a lot of expectations and pre/mis conceptions that arise around these high holi/holy days, so you do a lot of explaining to little and big people alike about what the traditions and rituals mean.   At the same time there are things you do every year that mean nothing but you do them anyway, because somehow they've come to mean something all on their own.  Like the "egg bake" breakfast before worship, or the easter basket we hide for the dog (or easter baskets of any kind, if we're honest about it).  It's your job to make sure they happen.  Because things wouldn't be the same without them.

Sometimes I wish I was a kid again, and could wander downstairs in my pjs and find the basket waiting for me, could spot that elusive egg way up on the door frame that nobody remembers hiding there, and take a week to eat my chocolate bunny, starting with the ear.  And sometimes I think I would love walking in on Good Friday, finding a seat and soaking it in.  Then leaving with goosebumps at the crash of the Tenebrae darkness, and returning to the bright Alleluia! celebration of the Resurrection two days later in my Easter "frock" with a ham in the oven at home and a lily in my hands on the way out the door.

But actually, probably not. I would probably wish I had something to do with making it happen.  In fact, it's one of the most enjoyable parts of being both a minister and a mommy.  That I get to create the experiences that they explore, design the encounters that open their eyes or hearts, plan the events that shape their memories or meaning.  That I get to set the stage and prep the ground for God to meet them.  It really is an amazing thing to be part of.

So God, please prep the ground and set the stage in me today. Meet me now and reveal the glory of the Resurrection a little early, if you wouldn't mind.  Grace my own topsy-turvey journey through these days of Holy Week.  Open my eyes and heart to the power of your hope and the promise of new life, even as I seek to live aware of your suffering and surrendering to death.  Amen.

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