In the interest of hitting the home stretch with a sense of some reserve left for the push/kick of Easter morning, I had a quiet morning. Woke up in time to have breakfast before the Holy Saturday liturgy (more on that in a moment), and was able to whip up a treat I have not enjoyed since before Lent began-Challah French Toast. Yum. I realize I am letting my Jewish brethren down by indulging in leavened bread...but if one must, one should go for the gold. Especially that lovely, eggy golden crust swathed in batter laced with vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. Top that with Maple Syrup and the sin is complete. I am sure my blood sugar levels will drop sometime in the next couple of days. For now, I am resolved to savor the moment.
Psalm 130...one of the darkest and most yearning songs in the psalter. Out of the depths have I called to you...Lord, hear my voice. What more fitting hymn to offer in the morning when Christ lies at the depth of his journey through the land of the dead, that place that no one else is known to have returned from?
I went in to the Church after my sugar loading and joined Kyle and Caroline, two of my staff, for Holy Saturday's liturgy. Just some prayers to frame the day, nothing more, really. Technically, I suppose I am laid off right now. Without Christ, there can be no sacraments. Without sacraments, my hands are only of use for those daily labors that we can all partake of, right?
So, that was my moment today. We had to clear the sanctuary for the setup crew that was coming in shortly, in order to ready the sanctuary for the Great Vigil. Some things needed to be disappeared, not least of which is our seven foot tall timber cross from last night's Veneration of the Cross. I took it back down to the youth room, again marvelling that my acolyte last night was somehow able to carry the thing in two hands at arms length down the aisle last night. I am a good twenty and change older than he is, and felt every bit of the weight of years when I shouldered that hunk of wood back up the aisle and down the stairs.
As I was coming up from the basement, and realize that staircase is a good 50' or so in length and depth...I unwittingly triggered a religious moment/reverie/what-have-you. I hit the lights at the base of the stairs and walked up in the dark...with the light of the upper hall streaming down toward me through a door in the window at the top of the flight. From dark to light...that is the journey we make as the body of Christ...and that is the one I took in those moments. Probably due to my sugar and caffeine addled state, I had the immediate sense of shadows pressing me from behind...and light beckoning me forward.
That is the life of Christ...moving eternally from state to state...from life to death to life again and again. From dark to light to dark to light again and again, it makes sense...and gave me a moment of pause.
Like some "Nightmare on Elm Street" Christopher Robin on the stairs halfwayup and halfwaydown (take some time to unpack that one), I stopped in the midst of that twilight and wondered. With one experiencing pressing in, and causing no small amount of childhood fear of the dark to rumble in my soul...I savored the experience of seeing the light not-quite-so-distant-after-all.
A good taste of something gleaming again..meekly, in the great darkness. It reminds me that I am not alone.