Last Sunday was Easter/Resurrection Sunday — and as is our custom we gathered around the table. Some were missing because they were able to worship with family in other places — some were welcomed because they were worshiping with family (with us!) — and some were dressed a bit more spiffy because — it was EASTER/RESURRECTION Sunday — the Sunday (well every Sunday actually we do this!) when we celebrate that Jesus Christ is Risen today! (and you respond — He (or Christ) is risen indeed!). SO FUN!
So we gathered. We prayed. And we began checking-in. Our homework had been to find art that allowed us to really experience Holy Week in some way. And folks found amazing works of art! Some where created by themselves, some from a family member, we had lyrics from a song (emphasizing dancing — and giving the image of Christ dancing out of the tomb and into eternity), we had images getting at what Christ really looked like when he walked the earth. It was a blessing getting to hear everyone “show & tell” — to think about how people with great talent had been paid by the church back in the day to create masterpieces; to consider how perspective changes how we see and interact with art (and life!); to pass around rocks before going in the tumbler & after….and to see too that the rocks (even tumbled) look better (shinier) with some water on them (if that’s not a sermon for us to consider how we look better with Jesus all over us….I just don’t know what is!). So we had a DELIGHTFUL time considering different pieces of art and how they invite us into Holy Week — how they invite us into knowing more of who God is!
And then we turned to scripture (as we do) and considered Luke 23:44-49
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[a] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
(a) Luke 23:46 Psalm 31:5
New International Version
Folks noticed the curtain being torn in two. One mentioned how the curtain was torn from top to bottom (not bottom to top — representing God tearing it). It was noticed by multiple folks the centurion and his response. Also noticed were the women who watched. And in a gift that can only be the movement of the Holy Spirit (praise God) someone also noticed how Jesus called (or cried) out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” — wondering what it means to for Christ to say this….it is hard you know — yet again, the fully divine & fully human residing in Christ all at the same time…BUT it was delightful because this utterance of Christ is exactly where we are focusing our time for the homework question & assignment:
- What does it mean/look like to commit our spirit into God’s hands?
- Can you do this at least once this week? (commit your spirit into God’s hands)?
Y’all….I don’t know if everyone will imagine this an easy or a challenging assignment. However, Christ gives us this model — of committing his spirit into God’s hands — so shouldn’t we try to follow as well? Looking forward to when we gather again for our 2nd Sunday of Easter (yes — it doesn’t just stop!)
Christ is Risen! (He is Risen indeed!)
~ Rev. Sabrina Slater