We are trying a new concept for our fuZion team; where we are taking the synopsis from our pastor for the week we are designing and creating a devotional to work through, the week prior to our design meeting on Tuesday evenings. Hopefully this will spark creative thoughts and ideas for the elements.
We are trying to prayfully prepare our hearts and minds around the concept before we walk in.
I won't normally do this, but I have wanted to create an experiential Tennebrae service for several years, so I volunteered to write the devotion for this and thought I'd share it with you. Here goes...
The word ‘tenebrae’ is Latin for shadows.
The Tenebrae service is an ancient/modern element whose purpose is to recreate the emotional aspects of the passion story; so this is not supposed to be a joyful service, because this particular moment in time was not happy.
The purpose of the service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events and it is left unfinished, because the story isn’t over until the Resurrection on Easter.
Traditionally it is designed around the seven last sayings of Christ as recording in the Gospels and ends in darkness and silence.
It is truly intended for people to experience the darkness before the light of the Resurrection.
Let’s take time to experience that emotion and remember…
Please click and watch “Why” (Nichole Nordeman)
At least through 5:51, through the moment when God’s very own tear falls to the earth.
Particularly since the seven last words of Christ are spread out through all four Gospels, please take time, read and pray through these scriptures: Matthew 27:45-55, Mark 15:33-38, Luke 23:33-46 and John 19:16-21, 25-30. Pay particular attention to the words Jesus spoke on the cross and reflect on what they may have meant.
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Suggestion: Forgiveness)
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Suggestion: Hope)
"Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." (Suggestion: Care)
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Suggestion: Loneliness)
"I am thirsty." (Suggestion: Suffering)
"It is finished." (Suggestion: Triumph)
"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Suggestion: Reunion)
One of the hardest concepts for skeptics to comprehend is “what was the purpose of the crucifixion”. How do we reconcile that thought ourselves?
How do we design an element that helps the skeptics (and seeker and believer) understand why it had to happen?