Sunday, April 11, 2004

Good Grief!

This has been one busy week. I think I said 'yes' to a couple things that maybe, if I'd thought about my commitments a little more, I'd have said 'no'. First, there was YAMs worship, for which I had to put aside Monday evening for practice, and then the actual deal was on Thursday. Second, I get a call on Tuesday from Anne Pharr at Fellowship church asking me if I could help out with 'experential worship' on Good Friday, because they're doing a drama skit and they have three speaking parts and a cast of two (love it when that happens). That took up Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday was free, and I goofed off a bit, but then I remembered the next day that I was supposed to be fasciliating small group after YAM's worship since Matt was going to be in a cabin in the woods with his family, and I hadn't come up with anything to talk about at all, and that I was going to have to wing it.

I spent a bit of time Wednesday morning walking in the historic Old Gray Cemetary, which is right across the road from where I work. I decided that would be a good place to practice the script for the Good Friday skit. It consists of John, Mother Mary, and Peter each delivering a monologue about their inner grieving thoughts after the crucifixion, and then a frenetic bit after that during which we speak select lines from the monologues in quick succesion, which each person's lines interspersed with the others. I was playing John, the disciple whom Jesus hung out with the most (that's a direct translation from the Greek... not :p). So I wound up walking around the cemetery saying, over and over, lines like "I want to die! I want to die!", and "It's too late! Too late!". Which is probably not the best thing to yell over and over in a cemetary, but nobody was there, so the police didn't get called in to investigate a potential suicide, which was good.

YAMs was interesting. Worship went well, if the reactions were anything to go by, though I was a little disconnected after all the craziness that week, and with the coming craziness still on my mind. It's a good thing God handles the details at times like those, the times when the worship leaders aren't really worshipping. It's a good thing the flock listens for His voice, and not whichever distracted fellow is in front of them at the time. Small group went well. I basically put on my best Matt impression, and emptied my head as best as I could so I could go with the flow of the discussion. Listening to the guys in my small group talk took on a whole new dynamic for me when I was fascilitating. You're more eager to hear everyone say their piece when you're in charge, and infinitely glad when they do, even when they keep insisting they're not sure about what they're talking about.

Friday, Gretchen asks a brilliant question: "Why's it called *Good* Friday? It's such a depressing thing that happened." To which I replied "Early Christian humor. We're the funniest religion there is". At about 6pm I was at Fellowship, and we rehearsed the whole skit for the first time, about an hour before we were supposed to perform it. Mother Mary wasn't there yet, so it was just me and Peter for a while, so I tried to rehearse my part for him a couple of times first. It was difficult, though, because I'm not a trained actor and I don't "act" very well without an audience, because my non-actor's brain is going "What's the point?". Peter *was* an actor though, so he probably needed to see something I had no idea how to bring out just yet, which probably frustrated him a little.

Then Mother Mary showed up and we practice the frenetic single-lines bit, and realized we hadn't memorized the thing yet. Awwg. Not a good way to be half an hour before showtime, and we're thinking maybe we'll leave that part out. But then we get it almost right just before the worship starts and decide we'll just go ahead with it. Folks start coming in to watch the skit soon after (we were one of several 'stations' throughout the church that people could come in to 'experience' the grief of Good Friday), and I'm thinking que sera sera, whatever will suck will suck. Then we get in front of them on stage, and something strage happened. We got the whole thing right. We wept, yelled, and choked at all the right places. Folks were weeping on the way out, which under other circumstances would be a bad thing, but hey, it's a Good Friday skit. So we're thrilled to bits the whole thing went so well. Then the next group of people come in, and we have to do the skit again. And again. And again. And by the start of the fourth performance, I totally understood why they were calling this 'experential' worship. "Gawd, let this awful day end!", I was thinking. Well, not really. A little, but not really :p.

Saturday was simply just the best kind of Saturday. I had nothing to do, and I did the heck out of it. Sunday I went to the service at nine o'clock, and then had Easter lunch with Cliff and Boz right after at the Sitar. I went to Paul Slay's house for a bit after that, and I had a good time hanging out with the Cedar Spring Church's international class. We also got a call from Lydia with the most excellent news of the week (aside from 'Jesus is risen'): Kevin and her are engaged! He proposed to her yesterday! The bum! He never tells us anything. Or maybe we just didn't understand the prophecies, like all those poor grieving sheep two thousand years ago. Huh, I wonder.

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