“Uptown Funk” is going to be my jam for the next while. I can’t get it out of repeat play in my brain. I LOVE the “Girls, hit your hallelujah (woo!)” refrain.
Kids, hit your hallelujah.
How are you walking into Holy Week? Tomororow or Saturday is the time to grab some quiet time for yourself to go over the logistics. Calm down, breathe, and focus. Run to your calendar and block out time for daily time with God. That comes first. It should always come first but we all know that other times of the year, priorities intervene. We have obligations. But please, dearly darlings, do try to knock out some hours for you to get to that soul place you need to be in order to tell the story and embody the love that this week brings us ’round to once more.
We just cannot show up for Jesus or for the Passover careening around third base and sliding into home plate. That’s exciting in baseball but not in ministry. In ministry it leads to shallowness, to a slap-dash kind of approach that is actually a kind of pastoral cheating. Some years, I understand, we white knuckle it or fake it. Who am I to judge that? I am not judging, but encouraging you to do everything in your power to make a deep and real encounter with the living Christ your highest priority before you open your eyes on Easter morning. A few stolen moments with the gospel isn’t enough, no matter how many times you have pronounced “Christ is risen indeed!”
Your brain may know what you plan to preach, but the rest of you needs to be involved, too.
On a practical note, please go to your closet and cupboard and make sure you have what you need to feed and clothe yourself for the various events and services coming. Do you have shampoo and are your nails clean and trimmed (or manicured, if that’s your style)? Did you purchase the brisket for the Seder and/or assign someone to bake or get the Communion bread, and what are you wearing for Maundy Thursday’s service? It’s kind of a unique one, so don’t leave that ’til last minute. Do you have a three-hour Saturday Vigil to lead or attend? Check the pockets of your robe this weekend for a fresh hankie. Don’t run out of matches. Check that your pantyhose aren’t all full of runs and spare yourself the horrible cussing moment you rush to get dressed and realize you have a big tear in your stocking, and in your spare pairs. Get your suit to the cleaners tomorrow. Choose your shirts and ties. Shine your shoes. Make sure you have real socks and don’t run out the door wearing white gym socks with a sports coat at some point.
Leave yourself transition time before and after all your special events. Enlist the help of spouses, friends or in-laws. Make sure someone is going to feed you after Good Friday service (unless you’re fasting). Change the sheets on the bed this weekend. Put out fresh towels.
Fill the fridge with healthy options that are easy and fast to put together: lean proteins, veggies already prepared (who has time to chop veg on Holy Week? Don’t kid yourself!), some favorite snacks. Arrange for the dog sitter now so you don’t have to worry about it midweek.
Remind your church secretary that you’re allergic to lilies.
Don’t bring them in the house if you have cats.
Remember that on top of everything else you have on your schedule, emergencies and interruptions are unavoidable. Try not to invite them by stirring up administrative hornets nests or planning big projects — those can wait. You are not just leading your congregation or community when you preside at worship, you are modeling how a faithful Christian/Jew/Unitarian Universalist/spiritual person engages with tradition and upholds it in a contemporary era.
Be beautiful and hit your hallelujah. Check in here and let us support one another as we approach Jerusalem.