Thursday, April 9, 2009
I've been so busy with other things this week, I've given little pause that this is Holy Week, tonight being Maundy Thursday, Holy Thursday to some. In any case, according to faith, it was the night that Jesus supped with His Disciples for the last time....
Now over the years, I've gotten away from the whole pomp and circumstances of Easter celebrations. In my family, Easter was just as a important, if not more, as Christmas. No, we didn't decorate, but we did spend the weekend in church. From Thursday night to Easter Sunday, there were services held.
Easter was such an orchestration. There were Easter baskets, and goodies to be filled, Easter suits or dressed to be found, and of course, the dreaded Easter pageant t be practiced. Were you like me who always seemed to get the most awkward part in the Easter play or an awkward Easter piece that made you wanna die of in embarrassment in from of the church congregation?
Reflecting, tonight, Holy Thursday and Good Friday were strange occurrences. Thursday night was the solemn occasion where communion was exchanged and the message of Christ's last supper with His Apostles, the story of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, how none of the Apostles could remain awake...oh so solemn. Then there was Good Friday Service where the local Ministerium of Churches would gather at one chosen church, having a Pastor from each church body speak on one the last "words" of Christ on the Cross. Services lasted three hours, during Christ's dying hours on the Cross, the so-called Christ Hours.
If you've ever been to a rousing Black Church, you know how a good preacher can make time slip away with an awe inspiring sermon. Such were the Good Fridays of old. The interpretation of Christ's seven last words (statements) on the Cross was moving...I can't explain the adulation, the experience through typing, but those of you raised Christian may understand if you have/had similar practices at Easter time.
After the last preacher spoke, the community congregation would descend into the great hall of the church for a fish fry dinner provided the church's Deaconess Board. We'd park our feet under them church tables like nobody's business, like one giant family, and graze on fried fish, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and pound cake. The atmosphere would be upbeat, folks highlightin' upon the rousing renditions of Pastor So-and-so's interpretation of the Word, or folks reminiscing on those who had gone on to Glory from last year. It was just an odd thing, but so accepted.
As an adult, I don't participate in church as much as I like, but I'm still faithful. I try to pray when I can, Lord know I need to because I have a mouth worse than a sailor, and I try to hold dear to my hear the beliefs I was reared with. Try as I might, there are times when I feel so lacking, so...dismayed and disillusioned by the simple story and message of Easter. But as folk are prone to say, "The Devil is a liar."
He'll take a inkling of doubt and make a huge chasm out of it. My doubts of late tear me down to the core of who I am. I feel insignificant in the eyes of God, hopeless, and irredeemable. But that's the whole point of Easter, right? That Christ came to save sinners, reconcile us with the Creator, so that no man, no woman, would live without the knowledge and the Spirit of God the Father, God the Creator. So tonight, I take the faith of a mustard seed, and express my eternal gratitude to my Saviour for loving me when I could not, cannot love myself.
It seems odd that such things are being typed, but it's the message on my heart right now. Hold out hope, have faith, believe...
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