Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Preacher: Prepping for Holy Week

I'm very excited!  As a supply priest, usually I sit in the back pews during Holy Week, but this year I've been asked to celebrate for a church in the final stages of a search and will be preaching and presiding for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter.  I've done a lot of Palm Sundays, but only one Easter Sunday.  And I'm not sure if I've preached on Good Friday before or not.

Lots to think about and work through, but I'm looking forward to it.  I'm finding the gospel of Mark has strange and fascinating little details in the midst of his rather terse exposition of events.  For example, that story of the woman anointing Jesus is familiar, but I don't remember hearing the phrase leading up to it: "While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper..." Who the heck is Simon the leper?  Answer (according to The Interpreter's Bible 1952): "Simon the leper is otherwise unknown (cf. the other Simon, 15:21, also unknown), but he was probably known to those who handed on the tradition, and presumably also to Mark." So that helps.

Also, love the spices in Mark's Resurrection narrative, and the way it ends so abruptly with such loose ends. I kind of like the thought that you leave on Easter Sunday a little confused about what happens. That seems appropriate.

One thing that came to mind for Palm Sunday is the Brene Brown video I linked to last week in which she talks about "Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage."  The woman with the ointment made herself vulnerable; Peter did not.  And of course Jesus did.  How can we be vulnerable? What kind of courage do we need to do that?

Good Friday, I'm thinking on the one hand how annoyed I am with Passion readings that require us to say "Crucify him!" (and preachers who tell us that's who we are: awful, terrible people who killed Jesus), but also how people let themselves off the hook by letting other people do the dirty work (i.e. "The Jews replied, 'We are not permitted to put anyone to death.'" while still managing to get the job done. You can bet those folks were not out with the rabble yelling "Crucify him!").  Something about systems that allow injustice...don't know.  Lots to think about.

So as you see, still in the very embryonic stages. I'll be doing lots of mulling about this week (hopefully with some mulling spices) and we'll see what comes out.

Thoughts? Ideas? Reactions?

And my earnest blessings to all of you preparing for Holy Week services. Be easy on yourselves.

1 comment:

it's margaret said...

Good. This is good news. Preach your heart out!

As to the "Crucify him" bit --probably not good in liturgy and for the laity alone... but a touch stone when one has been betrayed or been the betrayer.