I posted this on a board I frequent, but I'm not sure it will be understood. What a powerful time it has been ...
I am associate Pastor at an evangelical pentecostal type church. Thankfully, my Sr. Pastor is willing to allow me to 'play hookey' sometimes and either speak at or go to visit and worship at another church should the Lord call ...
In the non-liturgical type church, which is where I belong, we truly have thrown the baby out with the bathwater when we decided to abandon the liturgy. Yes, it can be empty and repetitious for those who are not listening, but to those who know the Scriptures ... well ... the entire liturgy is Scripture! We cannot mess it up with our equally man made programs!
We had the most amazing Maundy Thursday ... It was our tenth wedding anniversary and we decided to join our old Lutheran Church for the service ... (this is the Church where where I have my hometown office)
We joined them for a Seder Meal. The Seder meal is an obvservance of the Passover meal, but with explanation as to how Christ fulfilled each and every area of the original instructions. Wow.
What followed was a service that was so incredibly powerful ... even if the funeral durges were a little hard to take ... (I must say I do really much prefer my contemporary Christian Worship)
Communion was awesome! ... then, quietly, one by one, several appointed people from the congregation went up and stripped down the altar and removed all of the vestments surrounding it. One by one, all of the lights were turned off until all that shone is the Christ Candle ... after what seemed like a moment but yet an eternity of silent emotional reflection we all left the church, one by one. Awesome!
This morning, we all met again for another service and then we followed the Pastor out to the hill behind the church. Several of the young men carried a rough cross and we sang ... 'Where you there when they crucified my Lord'. Wow, not a dry eye. I could barely sing and get the words out.
Silently, we watched while one of the men hammered the Cross into the ground and then hammered three support pegs. The pounding of the hammer was deafening.
This Cross sits between two other crosses which had been raised yesterday. What a testimony to the neighbourhood! Every car driving down the two busy streets will see them.
Silently, we all left to our cars. Powerful.
The Cross means so much more to me this year than ever. Christ means so much more.
I think I am going to encourage our Church to observe the traditional Lenten season with me next year. We miss out on so much power in the Spirit by not observing it.
During Lent this year, my focus was more on the Garden and "not my will, but thine". Fasting has always represented crucifying the flesh to me ... but this season, it was my desires, my thoughts, my need to be heard that the Lord was pulling out from me. Am I willing to give it ALL to Him? Will I trust in Him?
On a deeper, newer, and more intense level. Yes. I cannot do anything else, Lord. You have the Words of Eternal Life!