Join in the story of Jesus’ deep love that begins on April 2, Palm/Passion Sunday and continues on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and culminates on Easter.
April 2, 9:30 am – Palm/Passion Sunday – Where are you headed?
When we look deeper into the context of this story, we uncover how two parades are occurring at once. Jesus’ unconventional and unexpected entry into the city parallels the extravagant parade of Pilate, the Roman governor. As both leaders enter the city for the Passover, they embody different directions. Pilate commands military dominance and imperial power; Jesus ushers in the kingdom of God and the way of peace. Within the chaos and commotion of this scene, which leader will you follow? Jesus’ journey to the cross should always catch us off-guard. As dismayed as the disciples, we ask, “Jesus, are you really headed this way, straight to your death?” Many of our weekly questions throughout the season so far have helped us prepare spiritually for Holy Week. Now we examine if our beliefs have changed our behaviors. Has your path changed? In the midst of opposing forces, which way will you go?
April 6, 6:30 pm – Maundy Thursday – Will you wash my feet?
In his final night with his friends and followers, Jesus shows the fullness of his love by removing his robe, kneeling, and washing the disciples’ feet. Violence is at the door and betrayal is at the table, and yet, Jesus’ response is abundant love. As he makes his way around the room, Jesus comes to Simon Peter who protests, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Emphatically, Peter initially rejects Jesus’ act of love. Like Peter, we may also question if God loves us and will care for us, even at the brink of death. In these final hours of accompanying Jesus to his grave, can we seek a posture of trust? Can we allow ourselves to be embraced and loved—by our neighbor and by God? Will we care for one another, washing each other’s feet as Jesus commands? In the turbulent events that are to follow, will we remember to show our love? John 13:1-17, 31b-35
April 7, 3:00 pm – Good Friday – Why have you forsaken me?
Of all the questions in our series, this one remains the most unanswerable. Jesus quotes the psalmist when he cries out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” His final lament gives voice to all those who have been forsaken—those who suffer injustice, those who are abandoned, those who are unjustly convicted. Instead of trying to answer this question with logic or theology, we are invited to live it, to sit with it. Sitting with this unsettling question unearths and unveils many more questions: What do we do in the face of unimaginable suffering? Can we sit in the silence of death and trust that God is there? Can we allow ourselves to feel the fullness of loss? Will we be in solidarity with those who suffer and grieve? What do we say with our last breath? Matthew 27:27-50
Holy Saturday, April 8 – What will you do as you wait?
On this Sabbath day, we provide words for use at home. In many congregations through the Cities, people will gather at the Easter Vigil. On Holy Saturday, Brant Thomsen plans to become a member at the Cathedral of St. Paul in the Great Easter Vigil held at the Cathedral at 8 pm. If you have never experienced the Vigil and would like to come and support Brant on this milestone in his faith journey, you are invited to attend!
April 9, 9:30 am – Easter Sunday – Who are you looking for?
When Mary finds the tomb empty, she stands weeping at the vacant grave. Jesus, mysteriously appearing as the gardener, asks her: “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” In the haze of grief, Mary can only see what is right before her—or in this case, what is not before her. It is only when Jesus calls her by name that the veil is lifted and she beholds the resurrected Christ. On this Easter morning, who—or what—are you looking for? Why have you come to the tomb? What kind of Jesus are you looking for? We are full of questions: Who do we see in the living Christ? What veils need to be lifted so we can recognize God’s resurrection in all the places it occurs? As we journey into Eastertide, will we continue to seek the miracle of God’s newness? In what ways will you continue to look for Jesus in the world? Acts 10:34-43 and John 20:1-18
Also, we will continue the fun tradition after worship of spreading & gathering Easter eggs in Peace Garden grass (if there is grass… will there be grass?). We wait to see!