When I was little I remember the season right before Easter as an exciting time. It was when I picked out fabric for my Easter dress and watched as my mom sewed dresses for both my sister and me. I counted down to Spring break and then we would go on a family trip, either to see my grandparents in Tennessee or to spend time in Florida with my other grandparents. I loved the egg hunts, Easter baskets, and bonnets.
About all I could ever remember from church during that time was waving palms around the sanctuary on Palm Sunday. Later on, I have memories of Good Friday services and a town-wide Cross Walk.
When I became a pastor things changed quite a bit. This season of excited anticipation became a season of wilderness. When preaching on the stories of the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial, and Jesus’ crucifixion, I felt myself entering into the narrative, experiencing the depth and complexity of the holiest of weeks.
Lent can be a difficult season as a pastor because it can seem like you are in an entirely different place than everyone else around you. While you are seeking to submerge yourself in the holy, that Easter bunny keeps hopping its way into every store, commercial, and television show. It can be tricky to stay in the right headspace to both preach an Ash Wednesday sermon and open yourself to the Easter joy on the horizon.
This season there’s been something particularly joyous about having this mailing to put together for you. It’s given me the opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that enliven my ministry, the people who inspire me, and those things that keep things fun. I’m thrilled with how this first set of Clergy Crates is turning out and truly hope that this project will be as much of a blessing for you as it has been for me.
May you be heartened in this brief season of ordinary time, that is often anything but. And, when you really need a pick me up, I suggest the spiritual practice of enjoying God’s creation…. aka watching cute animal videos! [I highly recommend ZooBorns!]