WELCOME TO Holy Week and Easter
Holy Week begins with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Passion/Palm Sunday-a day when we begin with shouts of "Hosanna" and the mood quickly shifts to the reading of the Passion of Jesus, his arrest and crucifixion-from the Gospel. .It is a roller-coaster of emotions from high to low as the Church in its wisdom gives us a glimpse into the events to come in the Great and Holy Week. Following a few quiet days with Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we move to Maundy Thursday. Maundy-coming from the Latin "mandatum" which means "command"-it is on Maundy Thursday that we move with Jesus and his disciples to the Upper Room where he gives a new command to them to love one another-and then shows that love to them as he washes their feet with humble servitude, and then shares the Passover meal where he takes the bread and wine and makes of them his very Body and Blood. It is later on Maundy Thursday evening, after the Passover meal is shared that Jesus, the new Passover Lamb, goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and it is there that he is betrayed by his friend Judas and arrested. He is condemned to death and, on Good Friday, Jesus drags his cross through the streets of Jerusalem, making his way to Golgotha where he is nailed to the cross around 9am. By 3pm, Jesus has died on the cross. His body is quickly removed from the cross and placed in a tomb so that his followers might attend the Sabbath worship, and early on Sunday morning after the Sabbath is concluded, Mary Magdalene made her way back to the tomb to complete the burial preparations , only to find that Jesus is risen from the dead. Christ is risen!
Our Easter joy at Christ's resurrection is celebrated in worship because in his death and resurrection, every good and perfect gift of God is given to us-forgiveness, love, and life everlasting. Jesus took our sins upon himself and allowed us the opportunity to be restored in our relationship with God again-a relationship we broke because of our turning our backs to God-turning away from God in sin. With Jesus, our hope for a fulfilling life today is granted as we live out his command to love one another, making a difference in his name in the lives of others. We also have the hope for the life to come as Jesus promises that he has prepared a place for us in heaven.
All are welcome and invited to join as we walk with Jesus from his entry into Jerusalem to the Upper Room, to Calvary, and then to the empty tomb. Join us as together we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord at Easter. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!!