Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Insights

A few years ago, Tom, our Worship Pastor, approached me with, "What would you think about having a Tenebre service?" I was lost. He must have been speaking Greek. (I speak Geek and was sure that wasn't it.)

"Actually," he said, "Tenebre is a Latin word that means 'darkness.' The service is designed for Good Friday evening just after sunset."

Tom has earned my trust. He told me a little about what he wanted to accomplish and I turned him loose.

At the time, we had one small office building on our future campus. The property God blessed us will is on a hillside which slopes toward the West. We are moved by the many gorgeous sunsets we get to watch. Before our first buildings and lighted parking, it could get quite dark out there.

I will never forget that first Tenebre service. As the sky grew darker, Scriptures were read and descriptions were given of the crucifixion. We heard the clank of nails being driven into Christ's hands.

After a closing prayer, we were dismissed and saw the dim form of a man hanging from the cross. No one said a word as we walked back to our cars and left.

It took us about 20 minutes to drive back across town that night. We were silent for almost the whole trip.

I was never so ready for Sunday morning.

Do you have a Good Friday memory you can share?


C. Beth said...

You know...I don't. I don't even think that much about Good Friday. Hmm. That will be something to mull over.

Isabella said...

As a child, most of my memories are of the Easter vigil mass on the Saturday night before Easter (3+ hours in church as a kid, you don't forget those things). :)

Now that I'm an adult (and a part of the Lutheran church), I have better memories of the Good Friday service. We do the tenebre at our church - and it's amazing. I don't think I ever felt the emotional impact of what Jesus did for us as much as I do after this service.

Sam said...

Thanks, Beth and Isabella. I hope you are both able to join as we think about Holy Week next week.

addhumorandfaith said...

The Holy Week services I remember most are the Good Friday ones. If we're going to really "feel" and appreciate the resurrection of Easter, we first have to "feel" the despare and sadness of Good Friday.

I can imagine how powerful the service you describe must have been.