Grace and peace to you, friends.
It is Holy Week in the church calendar, the week leading to Easter and the culmination of our Lenten journeys. This week, we experience heartache — in the betrayal and bewilderment of Maundy Thursday, the agony of the crucifixion on Good Friday, and the seeming abandonment in the silence of Holy Saturday. But we also experience the hope and joy of the resurrection on Easter Sunday.
For the forty days of Lent, followers of Jesus are intentional about reordering and reprioritizing, about praying and fasting, and about making space again (or perhaps for the first time) for God to speak and move in the midst of relentless rhythms and routines.
This holy work — this making space — enables us to more fully experience all that this roller coaster of a week has in store. We can more fully enter into the story. We feel all the things — the death, yes. But also the resurrection.
When I think about people who are doing this well and teaching me a thing or two, I think about Jack. Even when it’s difficult, Jack has been intentional about carving out space to write and reflect daily. It helps him pray, revives his soul, and it’s a faithful way to use the gifts God has given him. Check out his story below.
Not everyone is born a writer, but Jack’s story leads me to consider the ways I’m being called to use what I’ve been given for a richer, more vibrant connection with God and one another.
Here's what else is going on...
EXPERIENCE HOLY WEEK
If you are seeking ways to experience Holy Week in all its fullness, I would love to see you at “the mothership” — Christ United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. Our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services will each be at 7 pm, and we’ll celebrate Easter Sunday with services at 6:30 am (sunrise!), 8:30 am, 9:45 am, and 11 am.
THE NEXT LOCAL TABLE
Our next Local Table is Thursday, April 5 at 6:00 pm at the Briar Clubhouse in Briar Chapel. Learn more about Local Tables here. Come share a meal, journey together, and become a part of what God is doing in our corner of creation. All are welcome, and bring a friend if you don’t want to come alone! Dinner and childcare provided. RSVP via Facebook here or Evite here.
LOVE GOES LOCAL
Our first mission opportunity is Saturday, April 7 with Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. We’ll be building a wheelchair ramp and working on exterior repairs for a home in Chatham County. More details are coming very soon, but we know that we'll need at least 5 to 10 people to commit. If you might be one of them, reply to this email and let me know.
"EVERY RIVEN THING" BY CHRISTIAN WIMAN
And finally, a poem for you for Holy Week. It's one of my favorites: “Every Riven Thing” by Christian Wiman from his collection of the same name (Amazon, public library). You can also hear Christian recite it here and offer a little background, too. I pray that this poem lingers a bit and leads you into a deeper, more meaningful Holy Week.
God goes, belonging to every riven thing he's made
sing his being simply by being
the thing it is:
stone and tree and sky,
man who sees and sings and wonders why
God goes. Belonging, to every riven thing he's made,
means a storm of peace.
Think of the atoms inside the stone.
Think of the man who sits alone
trying to will himself into a stillness where
God goes belonging. To every riven thing he's made
there is given one shade
shaped exactly to the thing itself:
under the tree a darker tree;
under the man the only man to see
God goes belonging to every riven thing. He's made
the things that bring him near,
made the mind that makes him go.
A part of what man knows,
apart from what man knows,
God goes belonging to every riven thing he's made.