Anthony and I have been doing a devotional each night of Lent together--over the phone, or when we happen to be together.
It's been amazing.
Anthony told me last night that he's never experienced Easter in this way.
And so, Lent has served it's purpose.
It's prepared us for Holy Week.
Hearing more of Jesus' words and focusing on His story prepared us for Holy Thursday where He washed the disciples feet. It prepared us for hearing his words about Body and Blood, to feel pain as we read "then He took the cup" because we know what happens next.
I'm never prepared for betrayal. I've always been extremely bothered by two stories in Scripture. That of Saul...and that of Judas. Someone had to do what they did...they served their purpose. If no betrayal...then no cross.
I wasn't ready to read about the disciples falling asleep during the watch that lonely night.
But last night, at our Good Friday service I was reminded.
You see, we were doing a Taize style service and there were long and purposeful pauses between songs and readings. Since I was one of the singers I had the unique vantage point of actually knowing what song came next. The words to the song next in my book were "Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray..." which is, of course, what Jesus said to the disciples that night. And during the long pause before we began that song...there was snoring in the congregation.
Taize is a very peaceful service, and there was only candlelight so it was a perfect environment in which to sleep. And while I did have the thoughts of "please, somebody start a reading or play a chord on the piano or *something*" it was also evident that sleeping at this point in the service was oddly appropriate.
Once Thursday bleeds into Friday it gets a little harder for me. Experiencing Jesus on the cross (and at our Good Friday services leaving Him there) is a difficult thing for me to swallow. Yes, I know the end of the story, but Lent has prepared me to mourn this day...as those who did not know the end were surely doing.
And Saturday. Waiting. Something I've never been good at. And yet we are called to it.
Tomorrow is a new day.
May you experience it as such.