On April 6, 2013 181 people gathered in the front of St. Matthew’s to help feed our hungry neighbors on our annual Spring Service Day. “In 2.5 hours, 181 of us saved 49,000 pounds of potatoes from the landfill and bagged them to be distributed to our hungry neighbors through local food banks.” ~ Pastor Brian Johnson.
St. Matthew’s member and professional photographer, Jim King, has made his photos of that day available at: http://JwKImaging.zenfolio.com/p430221535/slideshow
So it’s Holy Week. Are you taking it seriously? This past Sunday Pastor Brian encouraged us to take Holy Week seriously. How are you doing with that?
Maybe you have taken the time as was suggested to read chapter 22 and 23 of Luke each day. Perhaps you have spent more time in prayer. You may have rearranged your schedule this week to allow you to attend the upcoming Maundy Thrusday and Good Friday services.
Or maybe life is feeling pretty out of control for you. Maybe disappointments with work or with those you care about have you feeling a bit alone. Perhaps you are one of those who have great dreams for your life, for the world but nothing seems to be working quite the way you expected them too.
If you are feeling any of these ways I would suggest that you, of all people are able to take Holy Week seriously. For these may have been some of the very feelings that Jesus experienced the last week of his life. Allow yourself to ‘be with Christ’ with all that you are as you take this week seriously.
Denise and Brian
March 22, 2013
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday. On this day, we will tell the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and how, just a few days later, the same crowds that hailed him as King demanded that he be crucified by the Roman authorities. This marks the beginning of Holy Week, a week during which we Christians journey with Jesus to the cross and the empty tomb. As we delve into the mystery of the death of the One who is God with us, we remember and experience the deepest and darkest night the world has ever known. On Good Friday, we see God joining us in our brokenness, taking on the consequences of our sin, and accepting abandonment and suffering on our behalf. And then, on Easter Sunday, we see the bonds of death broken. Easter is the ultimate reversal – the ultimate celebration of God’s life-transforming (and life-creating) power, even in the face of death.
But, we can’t get to Easter without Good Friday. We can’t appreciate the mysterious and world-transforming power of Christ’s resurrection unless we first encounter the reality and pain of his death. So, this week, you have a simple task: take Holy Week seriously. Travel with Jesus from the Cross to the Empty tomb. Read Luke 22:1-24:13 a few times – perhaps even every day – and reflect on its significance. And join us here for worship on Maundy Thursday (7pm), Good Friday (7pm), and Easter Sunday (6:30, 8:15, 9:45, & 11:15am).
This is the most important story of our faith. Indeed, we Christians believe that Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is the most important week in all of human history. So, we encourage you to join us in worship as we experience these central moments of our faith. We hope to see you here.
Brian and Denise