Holy Week

Here is a letter I mailed to everyone in my congregation this past weekend:

Palm Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Good News Fellowship,

Our Holy Week of celebrating Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection is here at last. During this week each year we gather to worship on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, to share a meal on Holy Saturday, and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

Why do we put so much effort into this time of worship? It’s not easy. Everyone has to do extra work: the worship team, the folks who prepare the communion table, those who place the decorations, and those who do the cooking – just to name a few. Holy Week takes us away from our normal routine of work, television, and going to the gym. Is it worth the effort to come to church four times in four days?

I believe that it is. The story of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection is at the heart of the good news that we live to share. Jesus’ story is good news because it is also our story. We died with Christ. We rose with Christ. When he comes we will share in his glory (Col. 3:1-4). Celebrating, remembering, and reminding one another of how Jesus has delivered humanity from sin and death is our number one priority this week.

These four days of worship enable us to re-live and re-tell the story of Jesus’ Victory:

Holy Thursday (Thursday, April 1, 7:00 p.m.) We gather with Jesus and his disciples in the upper room and see that the Son of God stoops down from heaven to serve and care for us. He affirms humanity’s adoption by washing our feet and sharing our humanity in his body and blood.

Good Friday (Friday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.) We stand in awe of the cross of Christ and watch him die. And yet we call this day a “good” day because it is the day of Christ’s triumph, when he defeats Satan, destroys death, and victoriously rescues adopted humanity from captivity.

Holy Saturday: (Saturday, April 3, Dinner at 6:30 p.m.) We hold vigil with Jesus’ disciples, waiting to see what will happen next, as Jesus gives the whole world its true Sabbath rest in him. We keep our vigil together in a fellowship meal, celebrating as Jesus’ death causes death itself to pass over all of the Father’s children: from Adam and Eve to the end of the world.

Easter Sunday (Sunday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.) We stand with Mary, Peter, John, and all the others, as they bear witness to Jesus’ triumphant ascent from death and hell. We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection because we know that if he is alive then the whole world is alive in him. As we all died because of Adam’s sin we will all be made alive because of Christ’s resurrection.

I am excited to re-live this world changing story in our worship together this week and I pray that the Holy Spirit will, through these times of worship, give us all a vision of how much our lives are caught up in the Father’s love for us through his Son Jesus Christ.

In the Love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Pastor Jonathan

3 comments so far

  1. James & Marj Friddle on

    We wish we were there with all of you in this wonderful celebration. Our pastor here doesn’t do things like this. Have a very joyful celebration!

  2. James & Marj Friddle on

    P.S. to earlier comment. We did have an excellent Easter program at church last Sunday, March 28. It was a program of music and narration.

  3. Pastor Jonathan on

    It’s great to hear from you, Jim, we wish you could be here with us too! I will pass along your greetings to the congregation. Hope you and Marj have a wonderful and blessed Easter!

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