In a sermon recently I lifted up the fact that the Greek word for liturgy, leitourgia, literally means “a work of the people.” In ancient times it was often used to refer to large public works projects, like amphitheaters or parks that all were meant to enjoy. 

Which tells us that the liturgy we share each week—the words we say, the songs we sing, the prayers we offer—is something we make together. The hope is that it will then make us.

This has always been a beautiful approach to what we do together in worship, but something I have been reflecting on especially this past week when it comes to all the many hearts and hands that contribute to crafting Holy Week within our congregation.

Over the course of one week we not only tell and reenact the story of our faith as we receive it in scripture, we also put it into practice in the way we come together to prepare meaningful opportunities to worship, gather, and care for one another.

You would not believe the hands and bodies it takes to do something as seemingly simple as leading our children in procession waving palms (come to think of it, maybe that doesn’t seem so simple!). 

And yet every step along the way—from egg hunting, to beautiful and theologically rich artistic design, to preparing a family-style meal for 80, to setting tables, to cutting communion bread and filling chalices, to washing dishes (cheerfully!), to singing and playing instruments in worship, to welcoming guests, to delivering flowers and our love to those who can’t be among us, to simply being present—the people of this church came together to create sacred space enough for all of us to encounter the risen Christ in our midst.

Easter is undoubtedly a story of the power of God to move among us and make the impossible possible. But it is also a story of the power of love and hope to transform a people.

This is my hope for us as we continue through this season of Easter and beyond: that we would continue to be transformed by love and hope. That, with the disciples, we would find each other in our doubt and our fear and receive Christ’s peace. That we would open our tables to strangers and find Christ in them. That we would feel our hearts burning within us and find courage enough to speak of it. That we would share these stories of resurrection as they come, and that these experiences of grace and renewal would be part of the liturgy we create that in turn re-creates us.


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