April 8, 2023
The rocks were still warm.
Last night after Good Friday service, I knelt at the foot of a cross to pick up rocks that people had placed there during the service. As my fingers closed around one of them, I felt warmth. Then the next and the next. “The rocks are still warm!” I exclaimed aloud.
Our Good Friday service did not offer bulletins, which people would have held in their hands. This year, we moved together through the crucifixion story with readings, silence, and song prompted only by the voices of our worship leaders. As we moved through the crucifixion story from the Book of Matthew, as we sang Were You There? seven times, as we sat in silence remembering the hours Jesus hung on the cross, the people had held these rocks in their hands. Into these rocks, they were encouraged to pour their sorrows, their worries and fears, anger, pain - all the emotions we encounter as humans. All the emotions that Jesus encountered as fully human in the crucifixion. At the end of the service, everyone was invited to place their rocks at the base on the cross. To leave the things in their lives that hurt them the most, knowing that Jesus’ suffering accompanies their own. They are not alone.
As I knelt continuing to gather the rocks, I pictured the hands of the beloved people who had held them, and the sorrows and pain I knew existed in their lives. Holding the warm rocks in my own hands, I knelt in silence for just a few seconds. “The rocks are still warm,” I said to myself, this time in a whisper. Giving thanks to God for this community that I serve. Giving thanks for people willing to share their vulnerabilities and entrust God in Christ Jesus with their hearts and lives. Giving thanks for God, who loves us.
- Pastor Marietta
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