Monday, April 25, 2011
Holy Week In Hollywood 2011
Mon 4-18-11 Passover
I spent Passover reading about the First Passover with Moses, the Israelites and the blood of the Passover Lamb in the Book of Exodus . I also spent some time reviewing Jewish Passover (Pasach) traditions (bitter herbs etc.) and how they are related to the First Passover.
4-21-11 Good Thursday
I spent Good Thursday reading the accounts of the Last Supper and Christ's Crucifixion in the books of the Gospels. I found many gospel programs on TV that were also reviewing the scriptures so it was a good study. I looked up the meaning of Maundy Thursday (another name for Holy Thursday) and fell in love with some of the Medieval traditions associated with it.
As a result, I couldn't resist watching to see if Queen Elizabeth of England would keep with tradition and hand out gifts to the poor or washing their feet. She did meet with some of her lesser (commoner) subjects but there was no gift giving or foot washing done. As it was the Queen's birthday, too I decided to let her slide (plus , she is planning a Royal Wedding-lol).
I also started my 3 day pulse fast and did more soul searching and praying. I had already given up chips and salty snacks for the entire season of Lent but it seemed right to avoid all meat and dairy for those 3 days that Christ was on The Cross.
4-22-11 Good Friday
Tonight's Good Friday service was amazing! Ecclesia's The large wooden cross that usually hangs high in the ceiling of the theater was now on the floor and leaning against the foot of the stage. The stage lights were down and the cross was back lit with floor lights and lighted candles were placed on a small table in front of it.
Pastor Joseph, the elders and the prayer team read from the scriptures about Christ's Crucifixion. The Gospels of Luke, John, Mark and Matthew were all read. Psalm 22 and Isaiah Chap 53 (by his stripes we are healed) were read also and one candle was put out after each reading. In between the readings, we confessed that we are sinners and not worthy but that Christ is our only hope.
Soon all the candles were extinguished and the room was dark. As an elder, Kevin, read the scripture and said "Crucify him! Crucify him!" with a booming voice I actually felt chills (boy does the theater have wonderful acoustics and Ecclesia has a wonderful production staff). A female from the prayer team read the scriptures describing how Christ's body was broken on The Cross and I again
felt physically affected.
I was already holding back tears when Pastor Joseph announced that we should consider that we are at a funeral then 4 men picked up the cross like if it was a casket. They placed the cross on their shoulders and bore it outside like if they were mourning pallbearers.
Then we sang praise and worsip songs about the Cross like Jesus Paid It All with heartbreaking lyrics “sin has left a crimson stain but He washed me white as snow” www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix7LNWzfFKU and Oh, the Wonderful Cross with lyrics “Oh, the wonderful cross! Bids me come and die, And find that I may truly live” www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sKcw9_PQYA
Pastor Joseph prayed over us then he encouraged us to spend Saturday in seclusion, as the Disciples did after the cruxifiction. Seclusion not out of fear as they did but out of sacrifice like secluding yourself from Facebook etc. Pastor Joseph also asked us to exit mindful of the solemness of the night.
We exited the room solemnly, some like myself, in tears. We passed vases of flowers at the entrance (almost like sympathy flowers), just as someone attending a funeral would. There was great grief at our loss, with reflection of the life of our passed loved one and with the hope and confidence of us meeting again. It was all wonderful and soul inspiring!
To God be the glory that He gave His only begotten Son for us on The Cross and may Ecclesia and its leadership and members always be blessed for the amazing job they did tonight!
I Spent Saturday mostly in seclusion as I continued my praying and fasting. I was also commercial TV free and almost Facebook free but I'm not that into Facebook so that wasn't that hard :D