|The Journey Begins
Good morning, Friends!
In recent years, a hymn by the Lutheran poet Jaroslav Vajda has become a favorite as I've made the Holy Week turn towards the events of Christ's suffering and death. The poet considers what was going through Christ's mind when he "woke that Thursday morning." He vividly describes the events of the first Maundy Thursday from Jesus' perspective. Then he sweeps us forward to the glories of heaven where we and all believers in Christ will gather for the wedding banquet of the Lamb. As you start your own turn towards the major events of Holy Week, may the poet's words be a blessing to you.
Tonight our journey begins in an upper room, pauses beneath a cross, and ends at an empty tomb. Will you join us? We hope you will as we follow Jesus this Holy Week!
When you woke that Thursday morning, Savior, Teacher, faithful Friend,
Thoughts of self and safety scorning, knowing how the day would end;
Lamb of God, foretold for ages, now at last the hour had come
When but One could pay sin's wages: you assumed their dreadful sum.
Never so alone and lonely, longing with tormented heart
To be with your dear ones only for a quiet hour apart;
Sinless Lamb and fallen creatures, one last paschal meal to eat,
One last lesson as their teacher, washing your disciples' feet.
What was there that you could give them that would never be outspent,
What great gift that would outlive them, what last will and testament?
"Show me and the world you love me, know me as the Lamb of God;
Do this in remembrance of me, eat this body, drink this blood."
One in faith, in love united, all one body, you the head,
When we meet, by you invited, you are with us, as you said.
One with you and one another in a unity sublime,
See in us your sister, brother, one in ev'ry place and time.
One day all the Church will capture that bright vision glorious,
And your saints will know the rapture that your heart desired for us,
When the longed-for peace and union of the greatest and the least
Meet in joyous, blest communion in your never-ending feast.
May God richly bless you, Brothers and Sisters, as you follow Jesus this Holy Week!
- Maundy Thursday @ 7 pm - Worship w/ the Lord's Supper - This is Part I of a three-part worship service that concludes with the Easter Sunrise service. Each part provides its own unique focus on the work of our Savior. In this service, we will focus on Christ's words, "Take and eat; Take and Drink," and follow Jesus from the Upper Room to the Garden of Gethsemane. This service concludes with the stripping of the altar reminding us how Christ was abandoned by his disciples in the garden.
- Good Friday @ 1 pm - School Worship Service - We will focus on images of the Savior, making the connections from God's first promise to Jesus' death on the cross. The children of our school will sing "Go to Dark Gethsemane" accompanied by handbells played by Grades 3-5.
- Good Friday @ 7 pm - Service of Darkness - This is Part II of a three-part worship service that concludes with the Easter Sunrise service. In this service, we will spend time with Jesus beneath the cross. As we focus on each of his seven statements spoken from the cross, the lights of the church will gradually be dimmed. The choir will sing "Lord, Let at Last Your Angels Come" at the conclusion of this service.
- Easter Sunrise @ 7 am - Worship w/ the Lord's Supper - This is Part III of our three-part worship service. With this service, our alleluias return and our celebrations begin because "Christ is risen; He is risen indeed!"
- Easter Festival @ 10 am - Festival Service - Our celebrations continue with a service filled with music, alleluias, and the good news that with the tomb standing empty, a new day dawns as Christ ushers in a new era of forgiveness, hope, and peace. The choir will sing "Fairest Lord Jesus" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" as part of our Easter festival celebrations.