As you know, tomorrow is the beginning of Holy Week. The week always feels a bit like riding a roller coaster as it begins with a parade, brings betrayal and unfathomable grief, and then ends with the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
It may be that you are struggling with how to observe Holy Week this year when we are isolated and unable to gather in the sanctuary for meaningful observances. I get that. I have been feeling a wide variety of emotions at the thought of celebrating Easter away from my family and you, my faith family. However, I believe there is an opportunity here. It will be a Holy Week observance like none other, but in actuality, it may be more like the experience of the first followers of Jesus on the day of Resurrection. After Jesus died, on that first Easter morning, they were locked in a closed room out of fear and the need to protect themselves, just as we are right now. Maybe our context this year is inviting us to experience the sorrow and joy of Holy Week in new ways. That is my prayer for each of you–and for all of us as we embark on this Holy Week journey.
There will be opportunities for worship and reflection this week.
Palm Sunday Worship will be live streamed at 10 a.m. on our YouTube channel and then accessible via our church website–www.firstcongregationaluccalex.com. There is a “Palm Sunday” resource attached which comes from Illustrated Ministry. I have been sending this out each week to our younger children, but decided that we all need it for Palm Sunday. I hope that you have an opportunity to color the palm leaf inside and be prepared to wave it as we celebrate tomorrow.
Reflections on the Stations of the Cross: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Join Pastor Jill via Zoom to reflect upon Jesus’ journey to the cross. You may log in or call in each evening.
Maundy Thursday Service: “Poured Out: Elements of a Resurrection”You will receive a link to this service on Thursday morning. It will be shown on our YouTube channel on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. If you–or someone you know–needs a DVD copy of the service, please let us know at: email@example.com. There are items for worship that each household is invited to prepare–a small amount of oil (cooking oil or essential oils will do!), bread and grape juice/wine (or any drink if those are not available); candles for each person in your household and a way to light them, a bowl of warm water and a towel.
This service was developed by Dr. Marcia McFee at The Worship Design Studio.
Easter Celebration: Live-streamed on Sunday, April 12 at 10 a.m. and then posted on our YouTube channel and our website.
As you journey with Jesus through Holy Week, may God speak comfort and hope to each of you. Light triumphs over darkness, and death does not have the last word.
Peace and Prayers:Pastor Jill