Friday, 6 March 2015

Lent, day 15: grace notes in the wilderness

As part of our 'thinking about' slot in worship the other week, and to mark the first Sunday of Lent, I explained the custom of 'burying' the alleluias.
To gather them in and put them away - effectively, to rest the word over the course of the season and resurrect it on Easter Sunday, and so say it with renewed enthusiasm.
(a little like laying aside a favourite toy for a wee while, and rediscovering it after a period of time, perhaps)
Each person had been given out heart-shaped post-its, and on one side, were to write 'alleluia', and, on the other side to write or draw something that they would like to praise God for.
These were then collected and put into the special Alleluia box, sealed up, and a prayer said. Thereafter, the box was placed at the foot of the cross at the chancel step, waiting to be opened and the alleluias to be released.
I'd noted that there was potential to play a game of 'alleluia-spotting' over the following weeks - would any accidentally escape?

A couple of days after, at our Lent discussion group, one of the members commented on the alleluia slot in worship.
'How do you get through the wilderness without being sustained by the hope of an alleluia,' she wondered, 'it's quite tough, psychologically.'
A good question.
I suggested that although the alleluias were away, yet the box containing them was visible: the hope of an alleluia was still there.  With the benefit of time, unlike the disciples, we are on the other side of the resurrection story, and in faith, know that love wins and hope prevails: death does not have the final word.
And, as with Jesus, the alleluias don't seem to want to stay buried:
Sunday last, Communion Sunday, we sang 'Ye gates' - I'd forgotten about those alleluias in the hymn - in music, at least, they popped right back out of the box.
Grace notes in the wilderness.

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