The Good Friday Five

Yet another Friday Five post on Saturday. That's how it goes sometimes, apparently.

It feels like it's been a long week, which is appropriate for Holy Week, I suppose. Here are some of the moments, people, and random joys of life that have been saving me this week.

1. My grandmother's birthday party. The majority of my immediate extended family got together for BBQ on Tuesday to celebrate our matriarch. We hadn't been all together since Thanksgiving, so it was great to spend time together. As I've grown up, I've realized how different we all are, and yet we are dedicated to each other. That means something.

2. Rachel Held Evans' piece about Holy Week for doubters. I've always loved Rachel's writing, her whole demeanor online and in person, and how she isn't afraid to write and speak about things that aren't always easy to bring up. This post is one of those. "What if we made this up because we're afraid of death?" I so appreciate her acknowledgment that sometimes just showing up is the best and bravest thing we can do, in our faith and otherwise.

3. Flashback to the '80s and '90s. This week I've watched Top Gun and The Sandlot for the first time, and started The West Wing. It's been fun to finally get so many cultural references that I missed at the time (no, I have no excuse for not seeing them before this, yes, you have permission to shake your head and roll your eyes, maybe even screech "WHAT?!")

4. Pope Francis washed the feet of Muslim migrants. I can't really find much to say about this except to ask you to please read the article. I give heaps of thanks for this pope and his meaningful contributions to the transformation of the world. As I wrote on Facebook: So true, so moving, so needed. Especially this week. We all belong to the same God.

5. Our Good Friday service last night. I always find it interesting that we celebrate the joy of Christmas in the stark darkness of winter, and the sorrow of Lent and Good Friday just as spring and sun are beginning to stick around. It's a contrast that works; at Christmas, I feel like the warmth stems from the internal, the people gathered, the candles lit, life pulsing despite the frosty, sleeping earth. And now, I love the feel of the darkened sanctuary, while light streams in and birds sing outside the windows. Even as the interior dims and the Christ candle is carried out of the church, our congregation strewn throughout the pews is buoyed by the renewal of life beyond, indeed cannot escape it. 

And you, friends - what's been saving your life this week, holy or otherwise?