Sunday, March 23, 2008

Holy Week Reflections: The Senior Pastor is No Jesus!

Okay, I know what you think. Is this going to be a youth pastor rant against his Senior Pastor that will eventually lead to his own demise. No! Not at all. Here is what happened:

It is Maunday Thursday and our church set up a creative "Journey to the Cross" experience all throughout the church. We went as a family which means we travel through the experience fairly quickly. I had no ideas about what the worship team was going to set up other than just a few hints here and there as I was at work on Wednesday and Thursday. As we went through about half of the "experiences" we were directed to the chapel. Without thinking to much of anything I entered in and immediately saw that the room was set up like the Last Supper with the Senior Pastor, Doug Damron, frozen in place in the "Jesus" spot. Now understand that Doug is the first Senior Pastor that I have worked for in which he is actually younger than me. He has yet to get that elderly wise mystique that you think of when you see older clergy types. Doug and I have been friends since high school. So with that in mind when I caught his "frozen Jesus" expression out of the corner of my eye I instantly got the giggles. My fear was also that he caught onto this and he was going the same direction as me. Now there were 12 of us around the table so, yes, there are other people from the church who are thinking that we are in the room with the Senior Pastor and youth pastor of which I am trying to remind myself that I have an image to uphold, although somewhat more relaxed than the Senior Pastor, as a member and employee of the church!

Anyhow, I sit down and immediately stare really, really hard into the plate that is right in front of me. Then as I sensed the corners of my mouth wanting to curl up I wrapped one of my hands around my mouth. My brain is going a thousand miles an hour "Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh, think job security, this represents the last supper of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was going through intense agony at this moment". All of a sudden, I heard Doug crack in his voice. My brain started to question if he was doing such a superb piece of acting in which he was embracing the emotions of Jesus on that night, or maybe, just maybe, he picked up on me and was getting the giggles too. I wanted to look. I wanted to peak. Maybe if he was really portraying Christ is such an intense way I would be able to shake off the small eruption in my lungs that wanted to burst forth. Or maybe on the other hand, if he was going the same direction as me, I was worried that if I looked at him and we made eye contact, I envisioned both of us bursting out in laughter and then soon after that making "Will Preach For Food" signs and hanging out together on intersections.

Luckily, I was able to gain my composure and appreciate the experience without ever looking at Doug. I snuck out of there and went through the rest of the stations without any problems. I kept all of this to myself of course because I had no idea of what Doug was thinking and I certainly did not want to implicate myself as being irreverent because I really like my job and the church I am serving at and I would not want to endanger that in any way. But within an hour after the event was over, I got a call from the Senior Pastor! He was ranting at me about making him smirk and break character. Of course I told him I wasn't trying to and I was too afraid to look at him knowing that I would lose it and destroy the whole atmosphere of the event. I told him that I heard him waver in his voice and I wasn't sure if he was portraying anguish or if he got a case of the giggles too. He confirmed that he was about to laugh and he was trying with all his might to hold it in. Luckily, we never made eye contact or it would have been all over for the both of us.

The "Stations of the Cross" is a beautiful thing! Really! I just wasn't prepared to see Doug in that context and didn't see it coming. The Worship team did a fantastic job with all that they did throughout Holy Week. I apologize for my brief moment of irreverence that came over me.

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