Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Five- Time Out Edition

The Friday Five prompts come from here.

Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL........

Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...

So faced with a busy week:

1. What restores you physically?

I do love a nap. It's not just the pregnancy talking. In college, I got very good at the twenty-minute power snooze. I don't even have to have a bed or a couch. I can lay flat on the floor in a slightly darkened room and be asleep. 10 years later, I hardly ever need an alarm clock for that kind of nap. I wake myself up almost 18 minutes from when I fell asleep. I usually set a little buzzer, just in case, but I typically wake up in time to turn it off, get up, brush my hair and teeth, put my earrings back in and go back to work. Ta-da!

I have also come to love swimming in the past few weeks. After my few short laps, I stretch in the shallow end of the pool. The weightlessness gives me a little recharge. After I wash the chlorine off, I feel ready to take on the world, but I usually go home and make dinner.

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?

A good solid devotional time, complete with devotional reading, journaling and deep prayer, makes me feel refreshed and recharged in a way nothing else can. That may sound like one of those things a pastor is "supposed" to say, but it's true. Like anything else that's good for you, though, it takes time to do that. As essential as that practice is, I don't do it as often as I should (daily). I do parts of it, but the complete routine offers the most consolation and connection from and with the Holy Spirit.

3. What encourages you spiritually?

Reading the works of other spiritual thinkers- from the Gospel writers to contemporary writers. There is something deep and stirring about the feel of words in my mind, rolling around, provoking other thoughts, stirring up faithfulness and spiritual comraderie- even for someone long since gone to their eternal reward.

4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.

These aren't quite the words in my hymnal, but this is one of my favorite hymns. This text is taken from here. The hymn tune can be heard in the same place, not a very resounding version- nevertheless...

Now let the vault of Heav’n resound
In praise of love that doth abound,
“Christ hath triumphed, alleluia!”
Sing, choirs of angels, loud and clear,
Repeat their song of glory here,
“Christ hath triumphed, Christ hath triumphed!”
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Eternal is the gift He brings,
Wherefore our heart with rapture sings,
“Christ hath triumphed, Jesus liveth!”
Now doth He come and give us life,
Now doth His presence still all strife
Through His triumph; Jesus reigneth!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

O fill us, Lord, with dauntless love;
Set heart and will on things above
That we conquer through Thy triumph,
Grant grace sufficient for life’s day
That by our life we ever say,
“Christ hath triumphed, and He liveth!”
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Adoring praises now we bring
And with the heavenly bless├Ęd sing,
“Christ hath triumphed, Alleluia!”
Be to the Father, and our Lord,
To Spirit blest, most holy God,
Thine the glory, never ending!
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favorite day in Holy week if so which one is it?

It is difficult to say which Holy Week service is my favorite. The moving nature of all the services and the anticipation of Easter Sunday makes them all special. However, if I had to choose one- it would probably be Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from earlier Latin and Old English phrases for "mandate", which in context comes from "commandment"- as in, "This is my commandment..."

The institution of the Lord's Supper and the washing of the feet aren't my favorite parts because they are still meaningful in the church today or because they reflect our life together. To me, Maundy Thursday is a clear representation (and set-up for Easter Sunday) regarding the physical nature of our salvation. Here we see that what God will do through Jesus the Christ isn't merely for souls- some nebulous part of our existence, but for our whole being- body, mind and spirit. In as much as we love God with all these parts, so to God loves all these parts and loved them first (!!)- enough to save them.

The physical elements of Maundy Thursday- the nourishment and cleansing that are instituted by Christ and commanded or encouraged of us- stir up in me gratitude for the God who made, preserves, loves and saves my whole being. The Three Days point to that in a variety of ways and it is these three days that not only save us from ourselves, but save us from the rest of the church year that can easily turn dualistic (body versus soul).


Mary Beth said...

Great play. I envy you that nappability!

Sally said...

Me too, if I drift off I can be gone for an hour or more!