Its that time of year again. The Church of God's are eager to be washed clean for the start of another year. Some are claiming tonight (Sunday) is the REAL Passover night, others are claiming it is Monday night and a few others are claiming the REAL Passover is Tuesday night. Others have gotten so frustrated by it all that they will join with Messianic groups and do a REAL Passover Seder on Monday night and again on Tuesday.
In Armstrongism the Passover ended up being one of the most stressful times of year for most people. They never could get their homes or lives deleavened and they cringed at the thought of listing to to
ministers claim their breaking of the bread (amplified with a microphone) was Jesus' body being broken.
In Pasadena it was an exhausting task for Passover to roll around each year. Every frigging building had to be deleavened. Custodial had to deleaven ministers homes because they were to righteous to clean their own damn
Then the College gym, Imperial gym, Student Center, Hall of Ad, Handball courts and the Auditorium had to be set up for foot washing. Over 3,000 foot pans had to be set out in front of precisely lined rows of chairs. Large barrels of warm water with chlorine in them had to be filled and placed next to an empty barrel labeled "dirty water." Special reserved foot washing areas were set up for the ministers who's feet were too holy to be washed by disgusting, degenerate, uneducated, sinful lay-members. It was all so exhausting.
Hundreds of reserved signs had to be placed on rows of chairs for the ministers and their wives to sit in places of high authority. Boxes and boxes of matzohs opened and distributed on silver trays to the long tables on the stages covered in crisp starched white linen. Over 4,000 little plastic cups were hand filled with the driest Cabernet that that could be bought. Then these trays were stacked in huge stacks on the stage tables to glisten and shimmer in the light. It was all so exhausting
You had to stand watch at the doors of each building to make sure only the pure and holy COG members were in attendance. Not unwashed cretin from the world would be allowed.
Then you set there listening to numerous scriptures being read till it was time to wash feet. Deacons, Preaching and Local Elders were not blessed with special areas to wash feet in so they had to go along with the unwashed masses. You could see them scheming as they stood in line to see whose persons feet they would have to wash. Many would rearrange themselves so that they would not have to wash certain peoples feet.
After the foot washing was over you headed back for the breaking of the bread. This was the pinnacle of the nights service. Microphones were placed in front of the bread trays, with the sound turned up, as the bread was being broken. The ministers was sure to point out to you that YOU were responsible for
By the time the service was all over you were exhausted. What really meaningful thing could ever be taken away from such a BUSY day and night? Even being exhausted you at least reveled in the idea that we were "clean." All the crap you had done over the past year that you knew to be wrong was gone forever. It was a unique feeling and actually quit freeing.....until.....the next day when we found some leavening or you swore at a crazy driver or got angry at your spouse or your kids because they were making you late for Night to Be Much Observed. Then you were temped by some Easter candy and ate some when you thought no one was looking. Or, you ate that doughnut with out thinking. Damn it! Now you have to live with that SIN for the next year, never to have it forgiven till you came back into the gym to find
The problem with "Passover" in Armstrongism is that when you left the College gym you left
Now we are 80 some years into Armstrongism and 700 some different splinter groups have emerged. Everyone of them claiming to be the TRUE and only correct ones. They will start crucifying their
Then it is time to prepared for the Night To Be Much Observed. The women will cook and prepare all day for the evening meal with invited friends or a church potluck. Seeds of bitterness and envy will already be popping into CLEAN minds because they are getting tired and are exhausted. Then they will get angry when an invited guests shows up without any food or brings some questionable casserole. Damn it! There goes that clean and refreshed feeling. They are exhausted and cant wait for the evening to be over. Then they have to clean up after the ungrateful church members left without helping to wash the dishes. Anger sets in. Its midnight and you need to get to bed because you know you need to be in EARLY tomorrow to set up for the first day of Unleavened Bread. You are exhausted just thinking about it! Its all so exhausting.
You get up at the break of dawn, get the kids showered and dressed. You cook a big breakfast because you know the minister is going to preach FOREVER! Then you pile the kids in the car and drive an hour on a work day with unconverted cretins clogging up the freeway. You get angry. You arrive late for services and then are told they need you to help set up the next room for the potluck. You spend the entire service getting the food ready, tasting weird looking food to see if it is safe to put out. You read all the labels to make sure no leavening is present. Scores of tables and chairs need to be set up and table cloths spread. Even though the sermon is being played over the speakers, you cannot listen, you are too busy and besides, its probably boring as hell because you have heard the same thing for the last 30 years.
Then you hear the closing hymn and think, DAMN IT! all the foods not out! There is a mad rush of exhausted women scrambling to get everything out. You do not have time to really sit down and eat with your friends because you need to keep replenishing the buffet line. You will get to eat the crumbs and left-overs as you take everything back to wash before the next service starts in an hour.
Its a mad rush as you head into the meeting room and grab a seat in the back. Services start and some visiting evangelist starts droning on and on and on and on. You start nodding off. Its all so exhausting. You cant wait to get in the car to head home even though you know it will be well over two hours because of evening rush hour traffic. Its all so exhausting.
Armstrongism....its all so exhausting.