Thursday, February 18, 2010


by Scott Dalen

Once again, Lent has arrived.

For me, this means many things. First and foremost in my mind (which admittedly is sad) is that I've climbed the ladder to change the drape hanging from the cross in our narthex for the last time in least until Holy Week.

I think I've talked about it before, but somehow I inherited the job of changing the drape to correspond with the color of the church season. I just happened to walk in at the right time about two and half years ago, said that I didn't mind climbing a ladder, and its been my job ever since.

I often wonder what's going to happen on that day when I exit stage left.

Honestly, they'll probably take the drape down and leave it down. A lot of people don't even realize that its hanging there in the first place, giving a touch of irony to me climbing the ladder over and over again.

But, long story short, for the time being, the drape is purple. It will remain that way until Palm Sunday. White then, and then on Friday I'll pull it down and we'll leave it empty (as we don't hang a black drape), and then that Saturday I'll put up white again. Holy Week gives me my exercise lugging the extension ladder around.

Wow, I have taken that way farther than I meant to.

Lent means other things as well. Preparation most importantly. Preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. At least that's what I preached about last night. I had the opportunity to preach at our Ash Wednesday service, which was a new one for me.

Additionally, with Lent comes my congregations Lenten portrayals. In lieu of sermons for Wednesday night services, we have dramatic portrayals of Biblical characters. This is a popular practice each year. Additionally, about every 4 years, we present the living last supper during Holy Week. You can always tell when that's going on because a dozen men from the congregation suddenly start sprouting beards. Fortunately I've been growing mine since last fall, so its not that big of a switch for me, but I was kidding around with the director last night about the different guys that are starting to look pretty scruffy. They'll be happy when Good Friday is over and they can shave again.

Truth be told, I will be too. I always grow a beard in the winter, but by this time, I'm getting tired of it and am ready to shave it off again.

Is it Easter yet?


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