The stories and services around Holy Week are a vital part of our Christian journey. It began with Palm Sunday, as Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowd. That moment sets up the confrontation that unfolds in the days that follow. Our Palm Sunday centered on the theme The Passion of the Crowd as we heard the shouts, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” The rally and the crowd create a contrast to the power structures of the day.
We move forward to today, Holy Thursday, often called “Maundy Thursday.” That name derives from the Latin for command (think “mandate”), where Jesus gives his disciples the commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you.” In this moment, Jesus shares table fellowship with his disciples and shares the words we use for communion: “This is my body, this is my blood.” Our Thursday evening service will begin with communion and move to the story of Jesus praying in the garden and his arrest. Our Beloved Community theme looks at practicing nonviolence. Today at 7:00 pm on YouTube or Facebook.
Good Friday is our time to remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus. The “goodness” is not in the death or violence of that day. It is a reminder of the goodness of God’s presence even in the midst of pain and suffering. As a Beloved Community we gather “At the Foot of the Cross” through a service of scripture and song. Friday, April 2, 7:00 pm.
Easter Vigil holds that space between the grief of Friday and the joy of Sunday. It is the first moment when we move out of Lent and into Eastertide. We can’t hold back our Hallelujahs that life everlasting comes in the promise of resurrection. The fire is an ancient part of this tradition and we gather at the “Paschal Fire” (Easter fire) and remember how the divine shine illumines the shadows. We will also celebrate a baptism, our sacrament of new life, in our vigil service with an opportunity for all present to also renew their baptismal vows. Saturday, April 3, 7:00 pm.
Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday, is where all these pieces come together in triumphant joy. Christ is Risen! Death is Defeated! A chorus of Hallelujahs capture our praise. Like the witnesses at the empty tomb and the early church, we make Easter the time for our Beloved Community to share a “Congregational Witness” of good news. Sunday, April 4, 10:00 am.
As we move through this Holy Week and the trial of Derek Chauvin unfolds we are reminded that in ancient days and our modern times, criminal justice system bends to the whims of those in power. Holy Week reminds us that even when it seems like all is lost, love and justice find a way. As we hear the cries of “Black Lives Matter!” and “Stop Asian Hate!” and as we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, we know that full justice may not come this side of God’s realm. But as people of Easter hope we know that God’s desire for us and God’s call on our lives is to fight for that justice, meeting hatred with reconciling love. So we invite you to experience all that this Holy Week holds: from denial, betrayal and death… to waiting in hope… to resurrection.
We look forward to sharing this time of worship, prayer, and connection.