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Holy Week


I was talking with Andrea the other day and she said, “Holy week at Nashotah is like boot camp.” TRUE THAT! It’s pretty intense around here this week. A lot is going on, for sure!

Last night was our Tenebrae service. A beautiful service of shadows. The light is gradually extinguished and darkness is slowly entered into. The service was pretty intense here at the House, it was long and very still with only the choir singing, chanting and speaking while everyone else was just taking it in. I’ve been to Tenebrae services before that were a bit different, more artistic and more participatory but the drama of the story, the story of Christ’s decent and our participation in that, in all the good and horrific ways, was truly on display last night.

And then the Triduum.
The three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil leading into Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday! Three days that are central to our salvation and life of faith. I’m thankful for a tradition that enables me to enter into this most holy of times in profound ways.

holythursday_15c_rusTonight I will be the thurifer in our Maundy Thursday service. Swinging incense like it’s my job!
Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.

During the service, we will have foot washings, altar-stripping and we will participate in the Eucharist as a community. There will be extra sacrament consecrated and put on a side altar. This symbolized Christ’s time in the garden and the eventual abandonment by all his friends.  We were asked to sign up for an hour to sit and watch and pray with Jesus, with the blessed sacrament. “Could you not wait with me one hour,” Jesus asks his disciples and so too are we asked to sit and wait with Christ on the night before he is handed over to death for our salvation.

I signed up for a slot and am anticipating this hour of prayer. I’m not sure what it will be like but I trust it will be a significant part of my Holy Week experience.

You can read some great words on this by a fellow from my church. He writes about the great watch and then he writes here about the other services of Holy Week.

We’ll have a Good Friday service here at the House.
Then the weekend culminates with the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, which will be a festive celebration as we proclaim Christ crucified and risen! Then we get to say the “A” word again. I can’t wait!

Our family will also attend the Easter service on Sunday morning with our church community, Christ Redeemer. Excited to be with those fine folks for Easter Sunday!!!

(You can read more about these different services and their significance over at this Blog…

I hope your Holy Week is a deep and sacred time for you. That you experience Christ in his death so that you can experience his resurrection!

Grace and peace



Maundy Thursday — Reflection


holythursday_15c_rusToday is Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday. A lot goes on here but the primary scripture i’ve been thinking about is John 13:1-15, the story of Jesus washing his disciples feet. Many churches will have a eucharist / communion service that will include a foot washing ceremony. When I was living in Nashville and attending Church of the Redeemer I was able to participate in a few Maundy Thursday service that included foot washing. It was uncomfortable! It was awkward! It was thought provoking. And when all was said and done it was beautiful and deeply moving.

We don’t wash peoples feet. We often don’t love people well. In our culture these things aren’t related but for Jesus he tied these 2 together. Wanting to profoundly love and serve his friends and show them how important it was going to be for them to receive that love and then go and do the same.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 11.45.29 AMPray As You Go engages this passage in John today and asked a few poignant questions…

“have ever known that kind of love?”

“Is there someone whose love you find difficult to accept at the moment?”

(image yourself in this story…)
“What do you want to say to Jesus, and what does he want to say to you?”

They close with these two pieces…

“‘I have set you an example’ says Jesus, ‘that you also should do as I have done.’  Speak to Jesus about what this invitation means to you, and how it might become a reality in your life?”

“We adore you o’ Christ and we praise you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

The medition today from Pray As You Go struck me and I wanted to share it. Take 12 minutes today, listen and engage, you won’t regret.

I hope you’re abel to find a good Maundy Thursday service today. Let it prepare you tomorrow, Good Friday and the darkness that follows and the light that is right around the corner!

Grace and epace



Holy Week Prayers :: Wednesday


Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday Collect BCP



My constant blogging battle :: I’m behind


Well I have TONS of stuff to blog about! Which often becomes the case in my blogging adventures. So I am giving you a list O blog stuff…

.:: LENT
Lent was really good for me this year. It’s kinda hard to say “lent was good” because in nature it’s a hard, self denying, kinda time but in context Lent was good this year.

I don’t really have a list of “things I learned” but I can testify to the fact that I grew during this time of Lent. I think the goal of self-denial for me is purge certain desires and grow in others. My goal in taking on something is to cultivate new desires and spiritual rhythms. I think God help this to happen in my life. And the goal in self denial is decrease my desire for other things. I also think God help this to happen in my life as well. So… Lent was good!

.:: Holy Week
Holy week was really busy, with church stuff and other stuff. But like Lent it was really good. Our church (Redeemer Nashville) had TONS of stuff going on, everyday pretty much. And things we were able to participate in were really rich, really meaning, just really good! And our Easter service was the best Easter service I have been to in a long while. The Spirit was incredibly evident, the liturgy was beautiful and the message was solid. No alter call but I let that one slide. 😉

.:: 1 year
Andrea and I hit our 1 year of marriage milestone! VICTORY!!! At first I didn’t think the 1 year mark would be that big of a deal but I wrong! This has been a hard year for both Andrea and i. LOTS of crap has gone on and lots of stress has come our way. And did I mention it was our first year of marriage. Toss all that into the mix and you come out with a pretty challenging year. Probably one of the hardest years of my life. But I have very thankful to have had my beautiful wife along side of me through it. I’m not sure what I would have done without her! She has been a HUGE blessing and encouragement for me. Like I said, I am very thankful!

.:: Chicago
For our anniversary Andrea and I went to Chicago! It was amazing! Some pictures of our room are posted on fackbook and flickr! I went on Priceline and did the name your own price action, $75 bucks for a 4 star hotel right on Michigan Ave. can’t beat that! Did I mention it was AWESOME!!! The only thing that sucked was that we ended up having to pay $50 a night for parking. Almost as much as the room! That’s kinda killed our budget for the weekend but it was awesome anyway!
We did a little shopping (heaven for andrea) We did a lot of eating (heaven for me) and we did even more walking! Chicago is the best city in the US hands down. Admittedly there are a couple cities I haven’t been to but I doubt they beat Chicago!
Happy anniversary to us! I have posted some pics on my flickr and fackbook, check em’ out!

.:: Good Shepard Lutheran Youth Retreat
I was able to spend last weekend with the students from Good Shepard Lutheran Church, RENEW was the retreat, spiritual rhythm was the topic. I thought it went really well. It was Andrea’s first retreat with me. AWESOME!

.:: The Loop Nashville
I spoke at young adult gathering here in Nashville a couple weeks ago, The Loop Nashville. It was really fun! I am hoping for the opportunity to do that more often. The Loop is a great place and I would really love to plug in there from time to time on Monday night. So, if you around Nashville on a Monday night you should come check it out! The Loop Nashville -or- myspace/theloopnashville