So it’s Good Friday – Easter weekend – the end of Holy Week.
There are times of the Christian life when you feel ‘on fire’, times of ‘doubt’, times of ‘coasting’, times of ‘waiting’, etc. but the seasons and festivals of the church calender help to guide us back to the basics. Christmas is obviously nice, but with all the family pressures, commercialization, and everything else that goes on it isn’t easy to focus on the ‘Christian bit’. Easter on the other hand is still a comparatively unspoilt (or ignored) Christian festival, and a good time to remind yourself of the most important week of Jesus life – all the victory over death, resurrection stuff.
Today was the setup day for the Good Friday Labyrinth at St Silas. This is the third year we have done this and we are starting to know what we are doing in the sense of physical set up. Each year has changed slightly what has been where, but in general it follows the traditional Stations of the Cross from Christ’s Passion, so there aren’t many different ways to present things.
The Labyrinth is a team effort, and I’m only reflecting here on my part in it and how the preparation has really spoken to me this week. This sounds a little like ‘look at how much I’ve done’, but that really isn’t what I’m trying to say….
You see, the ‘work’ or ‘effort’ that goes into the Good Friday Labyrinth (and other events I’m involved with) sometimes really get to me – it’s the ‘why am I putting in so much effort for this’ feeling. On one hand, the Labyrinth is something that I think I have something to offer – I can make videos, either re-edit something to make it usable as a station, or create something new – I’m fairly good at the practical problem solving of setup, layout, aesthetics, etc. – I think I have an eye for detail, planning and organisation (again, it’s a team thing I’m not trying to say I do it all!!!)
On the other hand, I’m tired! I haven’t had a free evening or weekend for too long and it seems I do nothing but prep for tomorrow, I’ve had to use up holiday time from work to get things done, I had to ice up my hand a few times last week because I was doing too much keyboard work all day and every evening on Labyrinth stuff, I’ve had a headache for the last two days, and well, I’m tired…
But how I’ve come to think of this (and I hope I can continue to think of it in this way) is that there are times when our worship should be hard, sacrificial and service-based, and when better to suffer for your faith in this SMALL way than for Good Friday when Christ suffered so much.
So, tomorrow the core team who planned, set up and will run the Labyrinth will serve others, we will have a laugh and enjoy ourselves, we will get bored at times no doubt and we certainly won’t get much out of going around the Labyrinth ourselves because we will spot things that aren’t right or need changed, and at the end of a long couple of days we take it all down and re-set the church ready for Easter Sunday – hopefully with the help of lots of other volunteers.
However, through this tool we are enabling people to meet with God. I will try to be thinking not about the God who died on the cross on Good Friday – I’ve been thinking about that a lot already in preparation for this. I will be thinking about the God who meets each person as they journey around the Labyrinth, taking them by the hand and leading them around each station. The God who will know that person and will know what in the music, the words, the setting, visuals, smells, etc. will best speak to that person’s needs. The God who is alive post-Easter and who is intimate and able to meet each person.
We have made available a tool for him to use, it is up to each person who goes around the Labyrinth to be open and listening and looking for what God is saying to them as they go around.
I think knowing that is what is actually going on makes it worth the hard few weeks.