The final steps of the walk began today. It is a walk I know, a story I can tell by heart. And it reminds me of a dance I participated in during a meeting the week before last.
It was known as The Spiral Dance. The leader has a candle and all eyes are on the candle as we walk, hand in hand, all in the same direction, spiraling tighter and tighter in until it feels as though there is no more room to walk. Yet, the call is to follow the light and keep moving….inexplicably, in the same direction. As we kept moving forward, we are looking at each other in the eyes and also at the light, now being held at face level and seemingly impossibly, slowly, slowly unwinding our spiral until we are again in a wideness and looking at the light held high.
It seems to me that is what this week ahead is about. The moving forward as community, spiraling in–the movement began with the burning of last year’s palms and marking each other with the fiery remnant. From today forward it is laying down the palms, reclining at table, misunderstanding, being served, denying, standing by, falling asleep, swirling in the chaos of arrest and preparations for execution, being there when they crucified our Lord, kneeling, perhaps weeping, comforting, experiencing the loss, the empty, the no more room to move.
The last bit of the walk began today. Thursday, the tabernacle is emptied, the sanctuary lamp put out. Friday, the skies darken, the cross is raised, casting its shadow.
And then, again, we are called to fill the church community with light. I think it no haphazard choice to begin the celebration of resurrection with fire that spreads throughout those who have gathered. We move through the emotions together, eyes on flame as it burns, as it smolders, is snuffed, but whispers back by spark, ashen cinder, and heat, DEATH HAS NO HOLD.