Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday Vigil and Easter Sunday

Reflections from
Jessi Marcus 
Koinoia Pastor at JW

The Saturday Night Vigil at Jacob’s Well this year was one of those experiences that is hard to capture in words. We purposefully sat in the disillusionment of the Saturday that falls between Good Friday and Easter morning. Can you imagine what the disciples of Jesus may have been feeling that day? Maybe you know what that feels like to lose someone that you love. One of my first instincts when my grandfather died this year was to sit down and remember as many moments and stories from his life that I possibly could.

That was our instinct for the Vigil as well this year. We traced back through Jesus’ life, reading through the entire book of Mark. Every hour on the hour, we would crowd into the prayer chapel where some gifted actors and readers in our church guided us through readings of Mark’s gospel, which was powerful enough on its own. But what made the evening beyond my ability to explain in words was Debbie’s weaving. She set up her loom in the prayer chapel, so that as the readers were reading, Debbie was weaving the final shawl of the Lenten season to drape over the cross.

The rhythmic sound of the ‘clunk-clunk’ as Debbie worked on her loom made me feel as though the reading of Jesus’ life was being woven into my heart. This was a sacramental act, weaving the story of Jesus’ life into this shawl, symbolizing the redemption through his life, death, and resurrection.

As the readers finished their portion of the gospel each hour, we would all sit silently as Debbie removed a shawl from the heavy-laden cross, removing some of its weight and darkness as we progressed through the night.

At midnight, we read of Jesus’ death and burial. Debbie cranked the final piece on the loom with a disorienting creaking and stretching sound, as the story further found its way into our hearts. And as the reader ended, we sat in silence as Debbie took scissors and cut the bright white shawl off of the loom, removed the final shawl of darkness, and placed the Easter piece, all bright and hopeful and promising newness, over the cross, the pieces of darkness gathered like water under the cross.

And perhaps I’ve never felt the power and significance of these words as much as I did that night: He is risen, He is risen indeed. The story had been woven into being. Hallelujah, amen.

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