Easter Monday. A day of rest after the (VERY) busy Lenten season, Holy Week and Easter Sunday celebration. But my mind is not quiet, not at all. You see, there is still a lot of processing going on in my brain – what we could have done better, what we will do next year, what we should do next Sunday.
Just before the Easter service, a member told me how much he liked the Good Friday service – how meaningful it was. And he lamented that so few of our members came, considering how much work I put into the services. I thanked him for recognizing my efforts. In fact, I received more of those comments this year than any over the past 7.5 years at this church. More people have mentioned how meaningful the services were, more people realizing just how much goes into them. And I am not alone. So many of my colleagues all put their hearts into Lent and Holy Week. We strive to do something each Sunday to bring meaning into this season. And then, Palm/Passion Sunday comes and we try to bring the story into everyone’s lives – connecting God’s story – Jesus’ story with our story. By Easter, we are all exhausted. And thankful. Especially when we see how God works. One man greeted me on Maundy Thursday, shaking my hand and not saying anything, at least with words. His eyes did all of the talking. The service reached him. Another, a Baptist pastor who happened to come to our service, asked permission to use it for his congregation. On Friday a woman shared how she never realized all of the parallels between the birth narrative and the passion narratives in the bible – until my wife and I presented them on Palm Sunday.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t do these things for recognition (although it is nice to see my work appreciated). I do these things because I am a pastor. I am a Minister of Word and Sacrament, and Holy Week is certainly a time to pastor. Through the Word, through the Sacrament, through the messages, through the liturgy and through the music we can link God’s story with ours. And that is really what we do. It is not so much about things I say or do, but about connecting people with God. That is my role. That is what I do. That is who I am. And when that connection happens, joy results.
May God continue to bless you this Easter season, and may you connect with His story.