Though the Lord may give you the bread of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:20-21)
At the Great Vigil of Easter this year, one of our youngest acolytes graduated from boat-bearer to crucifer.
The Great Vigil, as I’m sure you know, is one of the most complicated services of the Church Year. Everything’s backwards!
The crucifer doesn’t go first; the deacon does. The torches don’t follow the crucifer; they follow the Paschal Candle. The altar party doesn’t sit up in the sanctuary; they sit in the front pews.
However, she wasn’t nervous at all. Our acolyte master was right behind her during the entire service, giving her gentle guidance about where to go next and reassuring her that she was doing a great job.
She came and found me in the sacristy on Easter morning, excited to ask when she could serve as crucifer again. “And next time, could I do it mostly by myself? But, you know, with someone to remind me in case I need it?”
“This is the way,” says our Teacher Jesus, the Risen Christ. “Walk in it.”