This article is take from the Newsletter for the Diocese of Western North Carolina and is by one of our parishioners, Donna Logan
A few weeks prior to Holy Week 2022 my deacon said she hoped I planned to attend some of the services for that special week because she felt I would appreciate them. She probably knows me better than anyone else in the church because of her insightfulness and her way of understanding people. Since I was relatively new to the Episcopal Church, she explained that Maundy Thursday would probably be especially meaningful to me because of the powerful message it would bring.
Now I knew what Maundy Thursday meant. It is the day that commemorates the last supper, the washing of feet that reminds us of Jesus’ impending death and his willingness to serve all. From my childhood and even into adulthood, Maundy Thursday had been casually mentioned, but there had never been much celebration or devotion to the significance of that day. I never really gave it that much thought. Oh boy, that was about to change for me forever.
Just before Holy Week, my youngest grandson, age 4, had been diagnosed with Doose syndrome. This is described on the internet as “a catastrophic form of epilepsy”. It is horrible. Look it up for more information, if you care to. We were worried and scared and I was overly anxious about him and what his future would hold. He had been added to our church prayer list and all my church family had him covered in prayer and knew what was going on. I arrived at the Maundy Thursday service alone since hubby had to work late that day. It had been a particularly rough week for my precious grandson. I sat alone and was just really in a somber mood.
Then the service began, and it was absolutely beautiful. If you have ever had the privilege to visit Redeemer Church, you know of the beautiful stained glass windows. In particular, the lamb that is above the altar area in the front part of the church. Quite often, I find myself just staring at the lamb in thought or reflection. This night was no different. The sun was setting and the sanctuary was growing darker.
As the altar guild members began to strip the altar and remove everything, tears filled my eyes. Then when one of the ladies came out and even removed the hymn numbers on the boards I was so overwhelmed I looked up to find comfort in the lamb………THE LAMB. It was gone, it was dark, it was quiet. Slowly and without notice of others, I think, I began to look around at the other windows. Had I been mistaken? Was the Lamb somewhere else? Was I in a different place? I couldn't see the lamb. I COULD NOT SEE THE LAMB.
After the service, I left the church quietly and in tears. All the way home on my 30-minute route, I thought deeply and hard and tearfully about this. Is this what it would be like without Christ? What if He hadn’t risen? Would there always be a dark spot in my life and the life of others? Would we live our lives in darkness? In darkness without the Lamb? As hard as it was, I am so thankful I had this Maundy Thursday experience. It was something I will never forget and always cherish. But most importantly, I am so glad I can see the Lamb.
Donna Logan Redeemer Church Shelby, NC