This week is perhaps the holiest week of all Christendom. The culmination of the Lental season begins this Good Friday (the celebration of Christ’s crucifixion) with a spectacular Easter Sunday (the celebration of Christ’s resurrection). Even more interestingly enough, Good Friday coincides with Earth Day this year, combining my love for the environment with my love for spiritual rituals.
To celebrate this Good Friday, the wife and I will be holding a traditional Passover Seder (or, at least, to the best of our goyim ability). However, to also commemorate Earth Day, we will be unplugging all of our unnecessary electrical appliances at sundown, the start of the Sabbath. So computers, the Wii, our television, lamps, lights, electric mixer, toaster oven and griddle will be physically unplugged. We will hold our Seder in candlelight, not only to help us appreciate the modern-day luxuries we have today, how dependent we’ve grown on them, and how to use them responsibly, but also to represent how the motif of darkness is oft repeated in the scriptures to signify the death of the Savior and the world’s rejection of God’s light. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon speak of darkness, and for us, we will plunge ourselves into a type of darkness in modernity, to disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other and the Divine.
Saturday, the Sabbath, will be spent not only in the company of each other, but in the activity of unburdening our lives of the physical things which weigh us down. The Gospel of Thomas has a great parable in which the Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto an old woman carrying a bag of grain, which represents the precious things of the world. As she approaches her destination, a tear develops in the bag, and the grain trickles out. When she reaches the end of her journey, her bag is empty. We will make an inventory of all of our physical possessions and decide which we should keep and which burden us unnecessarily in our journey through life. We will also clean our apartment thoroughly, which has fallen into disrepair since both of us have sold ourselves to the pursuit of mammon (for the kid! I tell myself), as if in preparation of receiving Christ Himself into our home.
Saturday, we will also work and bustle to put together our garden. Our seedlings have recently sprung into life, and we need to transfer them into the pots we’ve prepared for them. We may even take the time to meditate on our little second floor apartment porch. Or maybe we’ll just set up some chairs out there and read. The day is open to whatever we decide.
Of course, Easter Sunday, we will attend church (though Mormon meetings usually lack some of that traditional Easter…oomph) and then spend the time together with family. At sundown, we will plug in all of our electronics again, and once again artificial light will re-enter our world. Then again, maybe for our Easter dinner, we’ll just light all of our tea candles and scatter them all throughout the house, so to remind ourselves one last time who the real light of the world is.