Pastoral Post: Maundy Thursday

I’m writing this on Thursday morning of Holy Week. It’s been a most meaningful week for me, and, I hope, for you. Sunday morning was exciting as the children led the palm processional to begin all three services. The tone of the services took a turn as we remembered the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. We continue to recall and relive the story of that week.

 Over 100 people participated in packing 15,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now on Sunday night. As always, that was a very special event, with participants from preschoolers to seniors. Monday night was a special blessing of the labyrinth, and many have walked it during the week. Tuesday many of us were moved by the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen. And on Wednesday a small group had a lively conversation about Paul and some of the issues we have not otherwise touched on.

 That brings us to Maundy Thursday. Tonight at 6:30 we will remember Jesus’ Las Supper with his disciples, an event that has been repeated countless times through the history of our faith. It is a central act of worship. John Wesley told the Methodists that they should participate in the sacrament on every possible occasion, because God is giving us grace at that table. I hope you’ll be here as we remember, as we give thanks, as we share the bread and cup in a bit different way that I think you’ll find meaningful.

 Don’t forget tomorrow, Good Friday, to join us at First Presbyterian for the annual “cross walk,” as we and friends from other downtown churches follow the cross up Main St., stopping for readings from the Passion Story, and ending on our front steps. It’s a great experience for parents and children. The good folks at First Baptist will serve lunch following. And Friday at 6:30 join us in the sanctuary as 7 people from throughout our congregation share reflections on Jesus’ last words.

 And let me urge you…walk the labyrinth! You can come by any time from early morning until Friday evening. There may be others walking. That’s okay. You may be alone. That’s okay, too. Every experience of walking is different, depending upon others, noises from other sources, your own state of mind and spirit. A key to a good walk is embracing the circumstances, whatever they might be. That’s why I suggest walking it as many times as possible this week.

 Walking in, you might take with you your concerns, your burdens, your joys. Leave a pebble, (read instructions before you start) as a meaningful gesture. Spend as much time as you’d like praying in the center, then retrace your steps, walking back out with God’s blessing and a renewed sense of peace. There is something very, very special about a labyrinth.

 Our Lenten pilgrimage is drawing to a close, but our pilgrimage with God never ends. Join us as we continue to move through these holiest of days with our gracious God and the love we know in Christ.


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