It will be a very different kind of parade this Sunday, as we each reflect on the palms from our own homes. We are still unable to open the church to worship together, but remember that when Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted with waving palm branches…that wasn’t a formally planned, officially sanctioned, scheduled in advance event. People were waving what they had on hand–pulled from the trees that lined the streets. If someone really impressive and important were about to come down your street, what could you grab within a minute or two that would be colorful or festive or get their attention? Conveniently for this weirdly specific hypothetical scenario, I happen to keep all of my long scarves hanging on the door of my coat closet, so I would grab the fuchsia one with little rhinestones and wave that. But maybe one of my neighbors would have foam fingers, or some kind of flag, or a hastily scribbled sign, or a bubble wand to blow bubbles with. What would you grab? Send us a picture of yourself with it and we’ll put them into a “parade” (i.e., collage) in our next newsletter!
Every night during Holy Week, I will be live streaming an evening prayer service on Facebook at 8pm. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to watch the service.
On Maundy Thursday, I will be collaborating with First Presbyterian Church of Saline for a virtual service (more details to come). It’s been really hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I’ll be eating alone that day, because Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his friends and is a powerful reminder that even God needed friends to support him in a difficult time. It’s not the same, but I’d like for us to be able to eat dinner together over video…we can call it The Upper Zoom!!! (yes…yes, I am very pleased with myself for that wordplay) Join me online and I’ll be able to seat us at “tables” by dividing us into smaller subgroups for easier conversation. More details will come for that, as well.
I’m still working out the details for what Good Friday will look like, since obviously we’ve had to scrap the plans for the interactive service that Peoples would have been hosting, co-led by several other local churches.
Holy Saturday will be especially poignant this year, as we are surrounded by absence–the absence of our regular activities, the absence of many of our friends and families, the absence of physical touch for those of us who live alone, the absence of our congregation gathered together. On that day, two thousand years ago, when Jesus’ body lay in its tomb, I imagine that all of Creation felt that absence somehow.
I hope that many of you will join me this Sunday as I live stream worship on Facebook at 10am. You can follow along with the prayers, readings, and hymns, which will be published on our website under the heading “Worship” in the main menu. After worship, you are invited to a virtual coffee hour on Zoom! There will be a link to join posted on our Facebook page, but if you don’t have the set-up to join a video conference, you could also join by telephone by dialing (312) 626-6799 and entering the meeting code 146 874 134, followed by the password 075003. We didn’t need to use a password last week, but because so many people have been relying on Zoom these past few weeks, they have been improving their security and are now requiring every meeting to have a password.