Well, yesterday's lack of a post officially has me missing more posts this Lent than I did last year. Holy Week is much busier as the only priest in a church than when you're an assistant in a larger church. Even though we have less services, I am solely responsible for every service we have. On the plus side, a priest friend of mine told me that, if I could survive my first Holy Week with a church, I could survive anything the church threw at me.
One of the things that's been "thrown" at me this year is the expansion of our food pantry. As an Eagle Scout project, a young man has decided to expand our food pantry so that it is more efficient and can serve more people. All of this sounds wonderful. The downside is that the construction work will make our parish hall, for all intents and purposes, unusable for a week. Because of this, he has decided that his spring break is the best time to work on this so that the work can be consolidated (time wise) as much as possible. I'm sure most of you have picked up on this already, but for those of you that haven't, his spring break happens to be this week. That's right, there's a huge construction project going on in the church during Holy Week.
At first, I had my concerns about the timing of this. I already knew my plate would be full during Holy Week. Why add something else? The more I thought about it, though, the more I came to like the idea of this happening during Holy Week. From a practical standpoint, the construction would probably take much longer if it couldn't be done this week. We'd effectively be out of a parish hall (and with it, unable to host many of the ministries we have here) for weeks. From a theological standpoint, I see the construction project as a sort of parallel to the theme of Holy Week. We go from a joyous Palm Sunday to an almost immediate downward spiral (the events leading up to and including the crucifixion/the "death" of our food pantry and parish hall). Yet, on Easter Sunday, we will be able to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and (God willing) our food pantry.
Today (Maundy Thursday), we are called to remember that Jesus taught us to be servants. I give thanks that, through the Eagle Scout project going on this Holy Week, St. Andrew's will be able to be a servant to even more people than before.