Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday - the saddest Thursday of all

Just got home from church, the Maundy Thursday service. It is a somber remembrance of the night when Jesus shared the Passover Feast with his disciples, washed their feet, prayed to be delivered from the horror of the cross, but ultimately laid down his life for those he loved. Which is all of us.

As the service progressed, as readings were done and songs were sung, the lights in the sanctuary and the candles on the communion table were extinguished. By the end of the service, we were sitting in utter darkness and complete silence. Somber indeed.

And yet, even in the darkness, even in the silence, even in the loneliness of abandonment and the shame of betrayal, even when hope seems to be extinguished along with the candles, I am thankful.

I am thankful for the community of faith of which I am a part.
I am thankful for the gift of communion, and the relationships that exist around the table.
I am thankful for the bread and the cup, the simple and profound reminders of that terrible night.

I am thankful for the silence of the tomb on Saturday, the day on which I will spend time in silence, remembering, praying, reading the stations of the cross, and preparing for the happiest day of all.
I am thankful for the promise of new life, of eternal life, and I am grateful that it has already begun.

I am grateful for the fact that a year ago tomorrow (Friday, April 19, 2013), I went in for surgery and came out boobless, wombless, and kaswer-free.
I am grateful for how great I feel right now.
I am grateful for the ways in which kanswer has awakened me to the glory of life and love, the gift of friendship and family, and the luxury of laughter and good health.
I am grateful for every day that I have ever lived and every day I am yet to live.

I am thankful for tears and sorrow because they cause the joy and celebration to be that much more profound.
I am thankful for pain and illness because they cause me to take my health more seriously.
I am thankful for darkness and silence because they draw my attention to the Living Word and the Light of the World, in whom there is no darkness at all.

Years ago, I heard a sermon given by Tony Campolo in which I heard for the first time:
"It's Friday, but Sunday's coming."
In this case, it's almost Friday, but thanks be to God - Sunday is coming!!!

Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful.

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