Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter evening

It was a full morning, and it began early. We had an outdoor sunrise service, beginning at seven a.m., which was largely led by several of our lay leaders. It was cold out--maybe just above freezing, and by the end I was rubbing my hands together, to stay warm. The crowd was mostly our folks, but also a couple of families who are current staying in our church through a ministry that moves them toward their own housing. One man wore only a short sleeve shirt, and someone in the church offered him a coat, but he refused, with a smile. I preached a very brief homily. No adjectives or adverbs, just nouns and verbs. I am kidding, but only a little. Afterward there was a little breakfast: a Bojangles biscuit, and some coffee.

Then on to the first service in the sanctuary, which began with a reading of the gospel, from the lectern Bible that had been removed as the sanctuary was stripped in the Good Friday Tenebrae service. The music was amazing, and my sermon was shaped mostly by a reading of N.T. Wright's Surprised By Hope. The sermon will be posted later in the week. The service concluded with Handel's Hallelujah Chorus; again, amazing. In between services I went by a couple of Sunday School classrooms, then checked in with the choir, who were eating breakfast (they sang at two of the services), then checked in with a group who were eating breakfast with the homeless (no, I did not eat with each of these groups!), and then prepared for the last service.

It was a joy to have both daughters here today, and also Jack, from Haiti, and my older daughter's boyfriend. The last service was almost identical to the first, except for the fact that there was not a vacant inch in the sanctuary and the service was videocast in the chapel. I realize how fortunate I am in this respect to live in the "Bible belt"; I realize that clergy work just as hard in other regions and in other countriesand often lead congregations that would have appeared to be very different today...and yet these pastors and their congregations are faithful witnesses).

After the last service, we greeted a number of people, and then our family, the six of us today, went to a nearby pizza place. Surprisingly, we were seated immediately, and we had a good, quiet and joyful lunch together. Then a nap. Then a two mile walk. Then Davidson (yeah) and UNC (yeah) basketball. Then last night's leftover grilled food. I predict tonight will have an early ending. Alot has gone out today ( realize clergy across the church experience a very similar mood); the days ahead will hopefully include times to re-fuel.

A happy Easter. Christ is risen.


Blogger Rich Holton said...

He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter.

5:40 PM  

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