Another Easter is almost here! We celebrate Easter every Sunday when we declare God’s forgiveness for us and when we sing His praise for giving us the victory over death. How do we make sure that Easter Sunday remains a special celebration and not just “another week”? I recommend coming to the Holy Week services.
Palm Sunday reminds us of the amazing celebration that took place when Jesus entered into Jerusalem. His reputation for teaching the truth about God, His power over demons and His miraculous healings all preceded Him. The Jewish people were excited to receive Him as their King and Deliverer.
On Maundy Thursday Jesus is celebrating the sacred Passover meal with His disciples. He remembers and celebrates the deliverance God gave the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them to the Holy Land. This is the meal where Jesus institutes Holy Communion. The service ends as we strip (clear) the altar. We remember the betrayal of His disciple.
Good Friday is dark and reflective. We ponder the death of Jesus just days after He was celebrated on Palm Sunday. This service reads through the passion or suffering of Jesus as He approaches, hangs and then dies on the cross. Throughout the service it gets darker until only the light of the single flame on the Christ candle remains. This candle is carried out for a few moments while the tomb is sealed and the world is in darkness. At the very end the candle is returned to remind us of the hope that will come on Easter morning.
Then Saturday night and Sunday morning the worship spaces are filled with flowers, light, joy and music, declaring the victory and resurrection we celebrate again! Come, join us on the journey and declare Jesus as your King, Leader through life and Conqueror of death!
Remember, this year for the first time in a long time we will have the opportunity to participate in a sunrise service. Lord of Life Lutheran Church will be hosting this service here at Cross with Pastor Sampson. The service will begin in darkness with the presentation of the Pascal candle which eventually fills the room with light as we celebrate the empty tomb!
What a story! What a week! Please take it all in as this week is why we have hope and joy in every circumstance.