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Because Mom was making him go to church to feel sadness about Easter

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thursday night I dragged the kids with me to our church's Maundy Thursday service.  Which is kinda' like Good Friday, but on the night before, and really depressing.  Which it's meant to be.  

Maundy Thursday.  Maundy meaning covenant - or new covenant - which Jesus told the disciples about that last night as they ate together.  He tells them that things will soon change, that one of them will do a very bad thing and do it three times, and that he will be leaving.  Then they all head to the garden to pray, but the disciples fall asleep  - and the events of the evening take a violent turn toward the cross.  Which by then is in the early hours of Friday, Good Friday....

The Maundy Thursday service is a service of darkness, to set the stage for the darkness to come as well as the darkness of that night.  And it's a service of silence to respect the events that happened and give ourselves time to actually be still and think. 

But kids 1 and 2 didn't want to and they talked a lot.  Which made me squeeze kid 1's arm several times and then let out a giant loud snap of the fingers to get their attention.  To which kid 1 says that my snapping was much louder and more of a distraction to the world than their talking.  The wisdom of a 14 year old. 

And kid 3 was mad because as we were getting dressed for church a friend came by and asked him if he would like to go see a movie.  Of course a brand new movie that every friend on the planet was going to see - except for him - because Mom was making him go to church to feel sadness about Easter. 

Which really sounds bad when I say it like that.  Because now that I think about it, I'm not sure my kids are ready to walk through the darkness of the events of Jesus' last moments, any deeper than a basic knowledge anyway.  I didn't when I was a kid.  I didn't till very recently when I needed to understand a little deeper about what Easter really means.  Because we all know by this stage in life, that in any regard, we can't fully appreciate the goodness of the light till we've seen what the dark has to offer.  Am I right?

And growing up, Easter was new dresses and shoes and a giant meal and Easter egg hunts with my cousins.  And I understood that it always happened on Sunday.  And I knew it was about Jesus from the Sunday School hour through big church time, but that's about it. 

And after Thursday night I'm a little confused about what I want my kids to understand right now.  I want them to look forward to the traditions of worship -  to plant the seeds of worship in them.  I want to take their picture outside the church with the flower covered cross.  I want them to wear their best, and feel the joy of being surrounded by people excited to declare that He is risen.  I want them to see that every seat is filled with people ready to praise the risen Christ.  

Maybe the goodness of Easter is plenty for now.  Life will surely introduce the rest. 


post script.... 

The Maundy Thursday service continued on a dark and downward turn for me and kid 3.  Who was still mad about not seeing a movie with friends and instead being made to sit in a dark sanctuary and listen to dramatic readings.  So afterwards he threw a fit large enough for me to point the car toward husband's fire station and put him out on the the driveway.  With strict instructions to find his father and that I would be back when I no longer want to bang my head on a wall.   And it worked because absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Even an absence of 20 minutes where we can all regroup and fall in love again.  It's a good thing.  

And Easter was a fire station shift for husband, so we had our fun the day before as we often do on fire department schedule.  And for the second year in a row, candy in eggs wasn't a large enough draw to make big kids hunt around a public park for them.... but cash was.  And we had to shoo away several little kids who found delight in hunting down our cash filled eggs as fast as we could hide them....because y'all, money talks.  And each kid is now $15 richer for the experience of making mama happy for another year.  I told husband that if the boys are ever cash poor as adults, they'll probably come home and ask me if they can go on an Easter egg hunt like old times.   

And the boys and I made it to the 11:00 worship where we saw daddy on the fire engine responding to an elderly woman in distress at our church on this Lord's day.  So we were kinda' together after all, for a bit.   

He is Risen.  He is Risen, indeed.      

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