Holy Week

Hosanna in the Highest!  Join us at any of our three Sunday worship services for an extraordinary celebration of Palm Sunday.  Our children have the opportunity again this year to participate in worship by walking and waving palm branches.

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified. Palm branches are mentioned in only one of the four Gospels (see John 12:12-15). So why do we call the first day of Holy Week Palm Sunday?

Tradition plays an important part in church history. During Jesus’ time, Rome was the world’s leading power. Whenever the Romans were victorious in battle, citizens traditionally threw palm branches in the returning heroes’ path.

This was the accepted custom of reception. So when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, it was appropriate that he receive a hero’s welcome. One week later, he would be victorious over death.

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Matthew 21:9 (NIV)

Join us in worship as we remember the events before Jesus’ death. We invite you to join us for this special service at 7 PM that commemorates the evening when Jesus and his friends broke bread together for the Last Supper just before the crucifixion.

Children are encouraged to attend but there will be childcare in the nursery for those children not yet ready for this reflective, quiet service.

What is Maundy Thursday, the Thursday of Holy Week all about? The word “Maundy” is a shortened version of the Latin word mandatum, which means commandment.

At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his friends a new commandment. He told the disciples, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34, NRSV).

As we Christians gather to eat and share Holy Communion on Maundy Thursday, we should make a special effort to exhibit our love and respect for one another. As we remember the events before Jesus’ death, may our hearts be touched by the depth of his love for each of his disciples, then and now.

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

John 13:12-16 (NIV)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

The Rev. James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage (HarperOne), writes that Jesus’ suffering and death almost 2,000 years ago are very relevant to our 21st-century lives. He says Good Friday teaches us that:

physical and emotional suffering are part of life;
suffering isn’t always the result of sin;
Jesus was fully human — and thus understands our humanity; and suffering isn’t the last word.

“The message of Good Friday is incomplete without Easter,” Martin writes. “The story of the Passion is not simply of a man being brutally tortured, nailed to a cross and executed by the Romans. It’s the story of a man who turns himself fully over to the Father’s will, trusts that something new will come out of this offering and receives the astonishing gift of new life.”

“He said, “Listen, we are going to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the religious leaders of the Jews and to the teachers of the Law. They will say that He must be put to death. They will hand Him over to the people who are not Jews. They will make fun of Him and will beat Him. They will spit on Him and will kill Him. But three days later He will be raised from the dead.”

Mark 10:33-34 (NLV)

Easter Sunday

Join us for an Easter Sunday Celebration!

There will be special music throughout all three services on Easter Sunday, as well as a packed orchestra for the 11 AM blended service. The church will also be beautifully decorated with all types of spring flowers. What a beautiful way to acknowledge the empty tomb!

"It was the first day of the week. Mary Magdalene came to the grave early in the morning while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been pushed away from the grave. She ran to Simon Peter and the other follower whom Jesus loved. She said to them, 'They have taken the Lord out of the grave. We do not know where they have put Him.'

"Then Peter and the other follower went to the grave. They ran but the other follower ran faster than Peter and came to the grave first. He got down and looked in and saw the linen cloths but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came and went into the grave. He saw the linen cloths lying there. The white cloth that had been around the head of Jesus was not lying with the other linen cloths. It was rolled up and lying apart by itself. Then the other follower, who had come first, went in also. He saw and believed. They still did not understand what the Holy Writings meant when they said that He must rise again from the dead."

John 20:1-9 (NLV)

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