If the devil can steal Jesus from a church, he wins. One of the easiest ways he can do that is to drive the Pastor away from Jesus, particularly during those times when the most people are naturally thinking about church – like, say, Christmas and Easter. There’s a reason that Christmas and Easter are just insane with people inside a church saying, “Oh, we have to do this! We have to do that!” whether or not God’s Word says we must do anything. If the pastor is so busy he loses Jesus, Satan wins. If the pastor is too drug down by the woes of this world, he has such a hard time pointing to Jesus.
They warned us at Seminary that anything that can possibly go wrong during Holy Week – the week that started today, Palm Sunday, and runs through Easter a week from today – anything that can go wrong this week, will. Expect it.
For an average pastor, Holy Week is already insane. An average Lutheran pastor will have to prepare worship for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and sundry services Easter morning. Considering it takes me ten to fifteen hours of time – easily – to write and memorize a sermon, three sermons in a week is a lot of work.
But then you throw in additional weights: I get to preach a Christian victory service – you may know it as a funeral – for a man I’ve served since arriving here. It is an honor to serve him in this way. It is also additional work in an already busy week.
I get to lead a chapel devotion at a local Christian school. Again, an honor – but an additional weight in a busy week.
There’s numerous things in the church I need to take care of, or at least oversee. Yes, ok, we’re set for Easter breakfast. Yep, we’ve got someone lined up for projector in the many services. Choir looks to be all ready!
All that is important work, and while the funeral will certainly be emotional, it will be a good emotional.
But now the actual weights start coming in. Things that aren’t just “busy but things we can do,” but things that burden the heart and make it hard for me to get up. (more…)