By Kercida McClain
Project Transformation, Rio Texas
San Antonio, Texas
First, read John 13:1-17, 31b-35 (Psalm 36,71,70)
“Why does liturgy/ritual matter?” As someone who loves these, I am asked this question often. Liturgy matters because when we reach a point where we have no method, no words, liturgy emerges from within.
My dad collapsed Christmas Eve and died Christmas morning. As I sat at his bedside in the in-between time, the pattern of worship, liturgy, sustained me. I sang hymns, canted the doxology, prayed and allowed God to work in and through me using liturgy. When I had nothing, liturgy carried me in God’s arms as he carried my dad.
On the night Jesus was betrayed he went to painstaking efforts to gift his disciples, and likely himself too, with a very liturgical act, Seder, the Passover meal. Words that had been said in community for many years gave each disciple a place of solace as it does us today. When they didn’t know what was coming next from the world, they did know what would come next in worship.
Our tendency is to back off from the hard moments. God invites us to lean in and rely on millennia of faith where our own fails.
1. “On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said: "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." I wonder if you naturally say what is next.
2. What is your favorite sacred song? Why?
3. How can you “lean in” to all these three days hold for us to truly experience the mystery of Easter?