This Sunday commemorates Jesus’ Entrance into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week, when Christians worldwide remember the saving death and resurrection of our Lord. During Holy Week the Church raises again the Palms of Christ’s Kingship, singing, “Hosanna in the highest!” During Holy Week the Church remembers his Cleansing of the Temple, his Teaching under Solomon’s Portico, his Washing of the Disciples’ Feet, the Passover Celebration in the Upper Room, the anguished Prayers in Gethsemane—and his Betrayal, Trial and Crucifixion on Good Friday.
For “Sunday” Christians, the easy temptation is to move from Palm Sunday directly to Easter Sunday. It’s a lot like moving from Christmas to New Year’s. It’s all good! Holy Week teaches us there can be no Easter without Good Friday—and no salvation without the Cross. Holy Week fully reveals this “wondrous love;” and it calls each of us to confess that only this “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” As we are moved by the Spirit to truly accept this Gift and respond with the gift of our heart, we are set free from the burden of our sin and the finality of our dying to joyfully exclaim, “He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!”
I invite you to make the time to renew and solidify your faith this coming week. Worship with us on Palm Sunday and again this coming Wednesday at our 7:00pm Taize Service. On Maundy Thursday, come walk the Labyrinth and visit the Prayer Stations here at church. On Good Friday, sign up for the Prayer Vigil with a gift of 30 minutes of unbroken prayer. Plan on attending our beautiful Good Friday Communion Service at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary or join with us from your homes. Then on Easter Sunday, come gather next to the Easter Cross beside the Memorial Garden for our 7:30am Outdoor Service, followed by our two Easter Services at 9:00am and 11:00am.
There is no Easter without Good Friday–something we all must come to acknowledge and experience as sinful, mortal human beings. But Good Friday does not hold the last word. Jesus’ obedience unto death opened to us the door to Life—and the means of living it now with indomitable faith, unconquerable hope and undying love. The last word was not, “It is finished.” The last word is now (and ever shall be), “I am with you always.”
Alleluia! Thanks be to Christ, who gives us the victory!