For me, Holy Week is the deepest week of the year for my faith. I love to hear and take part in the Palm Sunday story, of Jesus entering Jerusalem with cheers of Hosanna. You will be invited to be in a palm procession in our 9am and 11:15 worship services again this year. And then we will hear the deep words of Philippians 2 about Jesus going to the lowest point, his death on the cross, and being exalted to the highest heavens. We follow that journey especially with the Three Great Days which begin when Lent ends – on Maundy Thursday (April 18th)
Our worship at 7:30pm will include individual absolution/ forgiveness, hand washing (something new), Holy Communion and the stripping of the altar (just as Jesus was stripped of all dignity in his suffering) On Friday at noon we will follow Jesus’ journey to the cross using the stations of the cross on the banners around our sanctuary. The evening worship at 7:30pm will be based on the 7 words of Jesus from the cross, the 7 statements that the Gospel writers record. Each of these statements will be followed by a brief meditation presented by someone from the congregation and a hymn or some music, and a candle will be extinguished after each of the words. And then we wait on Holy Saturday. There is something deep about not moving onto Easter until it comes with shouts of praise on Easter.
Some churches have the Easter Vigil service in the darkness of Saturday night, and we begin our Easter worship in the darkness, at dawn, in the garden. (I’m always hoping for there to be enough spring warmth for us to stay outside for the whole sunrise worship – but the Assembly room will have an altar with flowers looking out to Morse Rd if the weather is still cold.) Easter morning will be a wonderful celebration – with breakfast to follow the sunrise worship, with the sanctuary wonderfully decorated for worship at 9am and 11:15. And there is the Easter Egg Hunt at 10:30am Bring some children along to enjoy it. And again – try to take in all of Holy Week – the Three Great Days – wherever you are.
I’m also looking forward to the Easter season, celebrating Easter for another 40 days to Ascension, or 50 to Pentecost, and really for the whole year. We will again have 5 Easter Wednesday evening studies led by George Schmidt about a focus he is passionate about – Ministry with the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Also, on Sunday April 28th the movie “Risen” will be shown in the sanctuary at 1:30pm. I have seen this movie a couple of times and find it to be a deep witness to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the effect of that on his disciples and others whom Jesus met before his Ascension. And we will have another Spaghetti Dinner this year, On Friday evening May 3rd . Put it in your calendar.
Jesus bless you – through Lent – through the Three Great Days.
April 7 - John 12:1-8
April 14—Luke 22:14-23:56
April 21—Luke 24:1-12
April 28—John 20:19-31