Friday, April 3, 2015

Is That It?

I attended the Service of Shadows at First Presbyterian last night.  The church was bare of any decoration or flowers.  At the beginning of the service, candles were lit for each of the disciples. Scriptures about the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest in the garden and his crucifixion were read.  A member of the choir with a voice like an angel sang "The Lamb of God." We partook of Holy Communion. Then at the end of the service, just as Jesus' closest followers deserted him, the candles were extinguished, one by one.  

We were then instructed to go in silent procession outside to the terraced courtyard.  There we found a replica of Jesus' tomb guarded by two young men dressed as Roman soldiers.  The moon, already high in the sky, drifted in and out of the clouds as we sang "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" When we finished the last stanza, the soldiers rolled the stone across the entrance to the tomb.  As we all departed in solemn silence, I heard a little girl's small, disappointed voice say, "Is that it?" followed by a quiet "Shush" from her mother.  

Priceless! How fitting was that sweet child's remark! I'm sure that's exactly what Jesus' scattered followers thought that night.  Is that it? Does it really end like this? We had such high hopes, and it has come to this - the shadow of a cross and a stone, sealing our Lord's tomb.  We must have misunderstood.  How can this be?

to be continued . . .