A thought provoking question posed to us yesterday after the Homily as part of the announcements at church. Standing before us, Father Alex outlined Holy Week and his expectations for us with some pretty thought provoking insights as well as some very direct instructions. I was impressed coming from the history we have had with previous pastors, this guy is serious and seriously knows his stuff. There has been nothing nonchalant about our Pascha journey this year. We are hitting it hard and head on and Father is pulling no punches.
Holy Week has started. It began last night with the first Bridegroom service which we missed but that should be the only service we can't make. Tonight, another Bridegroom and so forth for the rest of the week. On Friday, we are having a soup supper after the Hours service which he is holding at 5 instead of three so more us can make the service until the Lamentations at 7.
So what was so thought provoking on Sunday? No TV on Saturday, a quiet day when the Lord is working on His Resurrection. And here is what really hit home, no sports/activities for the kids on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Really, no sports, I love it. Holy Week is important, so why not make it important? What a sacrifice. Something so simple, a no brainer really but how many are willing to give it up? I have never heard a pastor stand before us and say this to us. I love this guy. How many Sundays were missed because Jr. had a basketball game? Or baseball game or hockey? How many of us are too complacent to stand before another man and say, "Church comes first?" Can we expect our children to attend if you constantly subjugate Church to a secondary, unimportant event that can be missed when something better comes along? The matter of children staying in the church after graduation is much more complicated than this as we can well attest in our family but this casual attitude has to break some of the bonds for sure.
How many are really ready to acknowledge their Christian faith and comply by understanding what this week really represents? How many of us are willing to stand at the foot of His cross with Mary and John (the only two left after the Crucifixion). How many of us are willing to really offer up any kind of sacrifice for this short period of time? Darn few I would guess but we'll see. Meanwhile, bravo Father Alex, bravo.