Friday, March 28, 2008

Have Clown Shoes, Will Juggle

To supplement my income, I've been looking for some work as a clown.

This coming week I'm doing some shows for the Winnipeg Public Library, which I'm very excited about, and I've printed business cards to hand out both there and at a clowning supply shop here in Winnipeg. Finally, I've got a new website designed to drum up a little business.

Check it out

Monday, March 17, 2008

Palm Sunday

My favourite time of the year is about to begin.

All of Lent is really a preparation for Easter. Starting with Ash Wednesday, we begin the slow walk toward the cross. This year Jan and I spent Ash Wednesday at Holy Trinity Church in Winnipeg, because we were flying in the evening, and St. Margaret's didn't have a morning service. So we spent most of the day with ashen crosses on our foreheads, reminding each other, and maybe other people who saw us of the eventual imminence of the cross--of God's death, and of our own eventual death: "remember, O man/woman that dust you are and to dust you will return".

Throughout Lent we prepare ourselves for Easter, by penitence and fasting, by confession and absolution. We give things up. Part of the effect of this is to increase the anticipation of the feast season of Easter. We count down the days until our fast is ended.

This Sunday was Palm Sunday, and the journey to Golgatha has begun in earnest. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He comes into the city with cheers and the waving of palm leaves. We commemorate this with palm leaves and palm crosses. The crosses are made from the palm leaves--Jesus' death is made by the instruments of his triumph. And the crowd chanting hosanna is the same crowd that will soon be chanting "crucify".

After Palm Sunday the palm leaves are burned and the ashes are saved to be used in next year's Ash Wednesday.

At the evening service, we had a service of the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. The service revolved around Haydn's instrumental piece, which was played by a string quartet. The seven last words are:

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).
Eli Eli lema sabachthani? ("My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?", Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
I thirst (John 19:28).
It is finished (John 19:30).
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).

Each bible reading was followed by a movement from Haydn's piece, and three of them were then followed by a meditation from the pulpit.

David spoke about "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do". For most of our lives we do not know what we are doing. In our ignorance, we are active--as the mob was active in its ignorance crucifying Jesus; and Jesus, though knowing, was passive.

Bonnie spoke on "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Christ wails into the darkness--a literal darkness as an eclipse covers the earth, and an existential darkness like the original chaos. All hope of dawn is on a cross.

And finally David spoke on "It is finished." In creation God saw on the sixth day all that he had made, and saw that it was finished. It was finished, but it was not over. The work was finished, and God rested. So on Friday Jesus' work is finished, and on Saturday he rests. The first creation is finished on Friday. Whatever we were doing in our ignorance is finished on Friday. On Saturday all of creation rests, awaiting the new creation on Sunday morning.