It's Good Friday. Yesterday, Larry - one of our gardeners - and I were out in the garden when we decided to make a cross from some fallen trees in our woods. It was a perfect weather day and we enjoyed it. We wondered if we should be a bit more somber, given the task at hand, but we chatted and bonded as we worked. When Larry hammered the first nail, we talked about who may have made Jesus' cross. What was that person thinking? The cross is draped in black in the sanctuary now.
I'm busy working on the last minute details for our Easter Vigil - the Sat night before Easter. This is the first time we've done such a service at this church and I'm excited. It's the same thrill I got before acting in plays in high school. We even have a stage director, spot lights, special effects and a lighting artist. There's a definite performance aspect to worship, especially this week.
Last night some people at worship washed each other's feet. It's an awkward thing. No one quite knows how to do it and everyone feels a bit uncomfortable. Do my feet smell? Am I washing yours correctly? It's the awkwardness for both the washer and the washee that creates a great moment. This is real vulnerability on both sides.
I'm fighting the urge to make sure everything is slickly planned for tomorrow night. Yes, I want it to go well, but some awkwardness is inevitable and the awkwardness is actually good. Worship can be a lot like theatre, but if the only performers are the pastors, the congregation has no part but to watch.
That's not worship, it's entertainment. These awkward (beautiful? fun?) moments happen in worship because we're all taking part in something we don't usually do. We form ourselves into a community as we go.