Monday, April 13, 2009

Peace in the Chaos

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. School and church have been swamping me lately, and I promise I will do better. Plus, I am only four weeks from graduation (and three papers, but who's counting?)

This past Thursday, I participated in my first Maundy Thursday service. My music minister and I dreamed of this service being a reflective service about the night Jesus was betrayed. Our choir sang two somber pieces about the cross. We read the beautiful account of John 13 where Jesus washed his disciple's feet. We took the Lord's Supper together.

But what we did not take into account were kids. Not just kids. Noisy kids. I don't blame them. It's 7:00 on a Thursday night and they are at church instead of at home watching tv, playing outside, or getting ready for bed. It was not their routine. They did not understand that you are supposed to be quiet and think deeply and theologically about the night that Jesus was betrayed. At first it was really frustrating because I thought how distracting and how rude these kids were being. And what were the parents doing? It was absolutely chaotic. But then as I was thinking, a thought hit me, and it had to be the Holy Spirit. I began to think about the night Jesus was betrayed. Surely that night Jesus was betrayed was anything but somber and quiet. It had to be chaotic. Jesus was praying in the garden so intensely that sweat beads of blood were rolling down his face. It had to be chaotic when Jesus bent down to wash his disciples feet, with Simon Peter protesting and Judas contemplating whether or not to betray Jesus. It had to be chaotic when Jesus knowing that this would be last time broke bread and drank wine with his disciples on earth. The crying children, the noisy children, the chaotic atmosphere really made it just like the Thursday of Jesus' betrayal.

Then something amazing happened. We gave each person a blank notecard and a pen. We asked each person to write something they are struggling with and that they need God to take away. At the front there was a wooden cross with some hammers and nails. We asked each person to take what they are struggling with, and nail it to the cross. All of a sudden the kids grew silent, and the only sound you could hear were nails being hammered into the cross. Even some of the kids wrote stuff down and nailed it to the cross. It was a beautiful picture of peace being brought into the chaos. The children and the Holy Spirit taught me alot that night, and made Sunday's celebration that much sweeter. I hope your Holy Week and Easter celebrations were full of Joy, Grace, and Peace! He is Risen!


Anonymous said...

Great post Ray. Thanks for sharing.

Kurt Willems said...

Glad to have you back in the blog world again... Good luck with school and life!