At first glance, this photo of frozen onion rings certainly appears to have nothing in common with Holy Week (the Eastern Orthodox church uses a different calendar than the western church, so our Easter is a month later this year.) While laying the onion rings out to bake the other day, I was oddly struck by the strong circular pattern they made on the cookie sheet – struck enough to pull out the camera. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the pattern and repetition of certain events throughout my life, both good and bad. It was nine years ago that we attended our very first Holy Thursday service back in Northern California at an Arab Christian church, one of the most profound and moving experiences of my life. This first Holy Thursday service remains, in my mind, the touchstone of my subsequent Holy Week services. Remembering it, commemorating it, provides a rhythm to keep me connected to the glimpses of mystery and grace in life, however tenuous they may seem at times. The pattern of grace helps so much to balance out the counter pattern of less positive events and struggles.

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