Pastoral Post 3.18.2015

This Sunday we plunge into Holy Week, the events around which our faith finds meaning, purpose, and life. The Sunday services will begin with children singing and waiving palms as we sing our “Hosannas.” During the service, the tone will grow more solemn as we remember the story of the coming week…..Jesus teaching in Jerusalem, the growing opposition, the Last Supper, the betrayal and arrest, the trial, and the crucifixion. We’ll tell and read the story, with some excerpts from Paul’s letters, in a way you probably have not experienced before. I believe it will be most meaningful.

 Sunday night join us in the exciting process of packing meals for Stop Hunger Now. A mission project is a great way to begin Holy Week. Monday, come learn about and walk the labyrinth, a great spiritual exercise—or come any time during the week to walk it. The Tuesday movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen is a powerful story of a man on pilgrimage. On Wednesday, I’m available following dinner for anyone who wants to chat informally about our “Pilgrimage With Paul.” On Thursday we recall and relive Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. On Friday, join us for the Cross Walk with our fellow downtown churches, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian, making our way up Main St. and ending on our front steps. This is a great experience for parents and children to share. Our friends at First Baptist will serve a simple lunch following. Then on Friday night, 7 members of our church family will share their insights and experiences relating to “the Seven Last Words” of Jesus. What a variety of experiences and services to give meaning and understanding during this holiest of weeks. I hope each of you will take advantage of one, or two, or more of them!

 Last Sunday I told you that our pilgrimage—a journey with a purpose—will lead us to the empty tomb of Easter and all that it means for us. But we cannot reach that destination without traveling through Holy Week, to the cross, and then beyond. There are no bypasses or shortcuts. I believe with William Barclay something like ,”The cross is a window in time revealing to us the love that is eternally in the heart of God.” It’s not about punishment…..it’s about the love that takes on the worst the world can muster, but keeps loving anyway, keeps forgiving anyway, keeps producing new life anyway.

 So, here we go…..join us as we approach the high mark of the Christian year…..join us on this pilgrimage that ends at Easter, but has a way to go first.

 See you with a friend,

Sandy

(Note: A reply to this message will be viewable by all recipients of this post. To send a personal email to Sandy Giles, use this address: sgiles@fumc-waynesville.com. )

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