Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I have decided this year to make the week of Easter different and special. It has become not enough for me simply to participate in a special worship service on Sunday morning. I want more. I am speaking personally and do not expect or imply that people should agree with me or follow my example. But if my thoughts encourage you to try something different, I will be happy to have been helpful.

In my third decade as a follower of Jesus I am finding myself drawn more and more to the idea of “consecration.” To consecrate something is to dedicate it to God, to make or declare something sacred. And I want to be more aware of and intentional about sacredness. The opposite of sacred is “common,” and I have plenty of that. My life is full of common, which is fine. Common is necessary. But it’s not sacred. I talked last week about “carving time” in our day for God, about creating and/or being on the alert for sacred time. That is what I want to do with my Easter week.

It just seems a little strange to me to come to church on Easter morning to celebrate one of the two most significant events in the Christian faith (the other being Christ’s birth) having done nothing in the days before to “prepare” for it, to consecrate it.

So this year I am going to consecrate the week before Easter. I am going to simplify my routines considerably so there is more time to be still. No television, no newspaper reading, no shopping. I enjoy all these very much, but I want this week to be special. It’s only one week out of fifty-two. I’ll survive (probably thrive)

I’m glad we are offering a showing of “The Passion of the Christ” on Friday evening at West Houston. It has always bothered me a bit to “skip ahead” to a celebration of the Resurrection without spending much time at the Cross. I know this powerful movie will help me to reflect, remember, and give thanks for Jesus’ willingness to suffer for my sins. My message today on Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane fits this timeline.

Saturday will be a still day for me. I’ll probably call the folks I invited to Easter services and affirm how much I hope they will come. Then I’ll rest. I’m not saying I’ll lie in a fetal position all day in the dark; just that I will try to engage with what a still, dark day this was for Jesus’ followers. It’s just one day; it won’t kill me.

On Sunday morning I’ll get up early, of course, to preach the sunrise service in the chapel. I’ll think about what it has meant to me to follow a risen Savior for the last twenty-three years. It is the single most important and significant element of my life. Then I’ll celebrate Jesus’ triumph over death and all that means to his followers, and rejoice in the great gift of salvation God has given me by his grace. Yeah, I’ll miss watching Boston Legal and the 3rd round of the Masters, reading the Chronicle editorials each morning, shopping at Barnes & Noble. But maybe not that much. I have plenty of common in my life. And it’s only a week. I want more sacredness.


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