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And here we are, having found ourselves entering Jerusalem for the last hours of Jesus’ life and ministry. What will we take with us from this time of reflection and practice? Though it has been 40 days of self-reflection, fasting and wondering aloud, “How long, my God. How long?” it has also been a full year of death that has, all the while, promised us new life in its wake.
Today we can glimpse the new life – the light that is just before us. We can imagine a world that is once again open and hospitable to foreigners. We can dream of breathing fully and clearly again, no mask or grip holding back the our life-breath. We can envision playdates and picnics, family gatherings and potlucks, hugs to our pew neighbors and shared blessings in close quarters.
We can, once again, conceive of communion. Together as one body of Christ… even as his body is tragically broken before us this week.
This week your worship team, Andrew, Gretchen, and I, invite you to courageously take these last steps – these hardest steps – with us and with our Christ to the cross. This journey will be 4 fold, each step being not an opportunity but a part of a whole:
Maundy Thursday: We will remember how Jesus placed himself firmly into a servant’s role by washing his disciple’s feet and then serving all of them the sacramental and symbolic bread and cup while at Passover. We will wonder what this tells us about our role as servant in Christ for the world and we will hear Jesus prophecy his forthcoming death.
Good Friday: We will consider grief and death even after a year of so much loss. And we will related to the emotions of both grief and expectancy that Jesus relays in his prayers and cries on his way to the cross. And we will wonder how we are to hold all of this, even as it feels like the world itself is breaking before our very eyes.
Easter Vigil (Saturday): We will meet by the front doors of the church (and on zoom) to sit vigil in Christ’s death. We will do what generations have always done in this time of waiting in darkness – we will share in the stories of our faith and history, we will pray in hope for the light, and we will hold our faith even as we hold our vigil into darkness.
These services tell a story, one to the next, of our faith that includes life, death, and resurrection. I hope you will join us for all three.
In the meantime, plan to join us this Sunday for PALM SUNDAY when we will begin the service waving our palms (there’s still palms in the vase by the side entrance of the church if you missed picking them up this weekend!) and then move through the story of the the days leading up to Jesus trial and death, ending the service on much more somber note than we began.
We look forward to seeing you all Sunday and this week!