I love Holy week. I love the music, I love the love, I love the ending of this movie!
Yesterday our whole family participated in the church service, in one capacity or another. Although I gave the children’s sermon, I asked each of our kids to join me (even though two of them are older than the other kids) and then my hubby was needed for support with a ladder.
And I will tell you right now, I *cannot* believe I didn’t take photos of this event…and hope that my words can paint you an adequate picture for you.
It was Palm Sunday on the church calendar. A very special day, indeed. The kids had already paraded around the church during the opening hymn, waving their palms as they strode throughout the sanctuary. As I sat on the steps to the altar for the children’s sermon, talking to the kids about Palm Sunday and what it means to us, they all answered with understanding and excitement – they knew that Holy week is important and they knew they wanted to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
I had a “Bistro” jelly roll (from Moda) that I had brought along, and I put one around the neck of each child, like a stole. We looked up at the cross that was hanging behind the altar, only to find that someone had draped a purple cloth around it. In effect, our altar guild put a stole on our cross. I explained that on the real Palm Sunday, Jesus rode on a donkey and all of the people who believed in Him layed down their cloaks, palms and shawls upon the ground so Jesus would have a clean and dry path upon which He could travel.
Since we didn’t want anyone tripping if we put our own cloaks and palms down in the church, we decided we’d take our stoles and place them upon a worn wooden cross that we had set up in the church – as a symbol of our love for what Jesus had done for us.
After each of the children put their stoles on the cross, I handed them another one – and asked them to go out into the congregation to share that stole with another member and let them lay their cloth upon the cross for Jesus.
The cross was beautifully draped when we were finished. And there were a number of fellow congregants who had tears in their eyes for the experience and witnessing the innocent love that the children of the congregation shared with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Then, during the offering, our Sacred Arts children performed a song in sign language. I find this to be one of my favorite expressions of their faith through music – the flowing of the hands as they speak words that are unspoken, the expressions on the children’s faces as they move to the music and the “dance” that they perform with their hands is just awe-inspiring!
After the service, there was an older couple who has never spoken to us before who came to us, introduce themselves, and thank us for bringing so much to the church. They were married there 63 years ago and didn’t remember a time when a new family was so involved in participating in so many ways before. They loved having the children participate in the service and they loved the performances that the youth provided. There were also many folks who stopped us on the way out the door, to tell us that they loved the children’s sermon and wish someone had thought of it before!
I give all of the glory to God, and am thankful that we have such loving children and such a caring and giving congregation who loves us for who we all are – children of God.
Holy week will continue. There will be ups and downs and tears and joy. The culmination of Christ dying for our sins and rising from the dead will touch my soul once again and forever more.
But, right now – right this minute…I am thanking Him for loving me and saving me. For loving my children and saving them. And He has my undying devotion from now and throughout eternity.