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Good Friday in the Congo

It’s Good Friday, the day when Christians follow Jesus down the Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering. Pilgrims in Jerusalem physically retrace Jesus’ steps from the place of his judgement to his crucifixion, and believers around the world retrace Jesus’ last steps through the Stations of the Cross. Figuratively, we can all follow him more closely by reflecting on Jesus’ sacrifice in our hearts. That is how I am walking the Via Dolorosa in today the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Maundy Thursday

It’s Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday in the Christian calendar — the beginning of Easter, our most sacred holy day. The whole weekend is devoted to remembering Jesus’ teaching, betrayal, death, and resurrection. From Thursday to Saturday, we will keep vigil, reading Biblical records of this weekend’s events over two millennia ago. We will pray, fast, repent, and remember. We do this to reground ourselves in God’s word, God’s love, God’s sacrifice for us, and the sacrifice that God requests of us.

Good Friday

It’s Good Friday, the day Christians remember the death of Jesus. To remember more vividly, I prayed the stations of the cross at a Catholic church. The prayers led us in imagining ourselves as bystanders of Jesus as he carried his cross to the place of his execution, then envisioning Christ’s presence in our daily lives and relationships. At the end of the prayers, we made our way to the cross, kneeling before Christ to pray our silent prayers.

Easter Saturday

It’s Easter Saturday — the day after we commemorate the death of Jesus. Jesus is in the grave. It’s the Sabbath, the day of rest, so his friends cannot embalm him, or prepare for a funeral — it would go against Jewish law. But how necessary was that enforced rest for them. They must have been exhausted with shock and grief.

Happy Easter!

Christ is risen!

In our tradition, we respond, “He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!” And we joyfully proclaimed it this morning!

I feel blessed to overflowing. This weekend I went to four different churches, using the different expressions of prayer, praise, and worship to lead me more deeply into Jesus’ paschal journey.

On Maundy Thursday, we sat at the table where Jesus shared his last meal with his friends, celebrated the Jewish passover, and remembered that Jesus is our passover lamb.

Breathing in God on Maundy Thursday

It's Maundy Thursday, the day Christians celebrate Jesus' last supper with his disciples. This is the meal during which Jesus took an ordinary loaf of bread, blessed it, and proclaimed it his broken body, given for them. They didn't know at the time that he was foretelling his death 12 hours later.

This morning, looking forward to Easter, I put on Christian music and logged into work. I should do that more often; it was very uplifting. At lunchtime I was even singing (that's one of the benefits of working from home). Then I gave a friend a quick call.

"You're cheerful today! How's work going?," he asked.

"Awful," I replied. "I have to work this weekend. We're unprepared for the launch, and it's on Monday."

"You're dealing with it really well."

And I was; I managed to stay peaceful through the chaos. How was that possible? Often, I don't succeed.

I brought God into the chaos. That made all the difference.

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