(This post was printed in this week’s First Words.)
And now our Lenten journey has brought us to Holy Week, the week that we remember, focus on, and, in a sense, relive the central drama of our faith.
This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday (March 29). We begin with the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding a donkey (a gesture of peace), to the cries of the crowds of “Hosanna” (“Save us”). He had come to save, but not in the way they thought. After waving palms, the children processing, the tone of the service will change as we focus on what happened later that week. We’ll read through the story of Christ’s passion, with the congregation having its own part to read.
On Tuesday night of Holy Week (March 31), we’ll view the Hitchcock film “I Confess,” with holy week themes. The location has been moved from the choir room to the Christian Growth Center (Gym) because of apparent interest. Snacks and film at 6:30.
On Wednesday night of Holy Week (April 1), we’ll have our wonderful Wonderful Wednesday schedule. Ongoing classes continue, and I’ll discuss the Biblical events of Holy Week with anyone interested.
On Maundy Thursday (April 2), we’ll gather in the sanctuary for worship as we remember Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. Becky Brown will preach. We’ll receive the bread and cup at the altar. We’ll have a symbolic “hand washing,” remembering Jesus’s washing of the disciples’ feet. We’ll “strip” the church and leave in silence, knowing the story continues…..
On Good Friday (April 3) at 11:00, we’ll meet with other Christians from the community at First Presbyterian Church for the annual “Cross Walk.” Various persons will shoulder the large cross as we walk up Main St., stopping for readings from the story of that last dark day. The Cross Walk will end on our front steps at noon, and we’ll come inside our sanctuary for a brief service, with Wilson Strickhausen retelling the story from a unique perspective. The service will end by 12:30, and it will be repeated at 7:00.
Then, finally, comes Easter Sunday (April 5). The annual Easter Sunrise Service at Lake Junaluska begins at 7:00 a.m. at the cross, if you’re an early riser. Our regular Sunday schedule of three services will celebrate the risen Christ!
Scott Taylor gave us a good overview of these services on Sunday, with explanation of why they are so important. I cannot stress enough the deep meaning and spiritual impact these services have when understood as living into the story as a means of gratitude to God and growing in our faith.
These events, Easter and the services leading up to it, are indeed the events around which everything else revolves. I hope you’ll join us in these special and meaningful services as we “grow in faith” as the living Body of Christ. Come and bring a friend.
See you Sunday as the Lenten journey nears its end,