Why Holy week? Why does Jesus have to die? There are multifaceted pieces to the most important week in our Judeo-Christian faith. Easter cannot happen without Good Friday, which is preceded and given meaning by the Last Supper (New Covenant in Jesus blood) that we remember (practice) each month (communion). It all begins with Palm Sunday. Jesus must die, so that we can live (with Him eternally). Join us for this sacred time, schedule below. Can you identify the 6 images on the left of Holy Week?
Sun. April 2nd: Palm Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem to begin the last week of his life as the redeemer king “Hosanna” save us “Son of David” the crowd cheers. By the end of the week the cheers turn to jeers and “crucify him.” We will celebrate a very special communion (the Last Supper) and take a comprehensive overview of the week that will change everything.
Friday April 7th at 7 PM: Good Friday – Without this solemn service there is no Easter celebration. I would encourage you to attend and participate. There will be an opportunity to carry the cross starting outside and bringing the cross into the sanctuary. We will here Jesus’ 7 statements from the cross as well as correlating meditations read by congregation members. It is the most powerful service on the Christian calendar and gives more depth and richness to the joy of Easter.
Sun. April 9th: Easter Sunday – The Hand Bells will perform, and we will adorn (place) flowers on the cross during worship. We’ll celebrate Jesus’ resurrection through special music and scripture. “He lives” and so do we (eternally), if we believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. During church Sunday School for kids. There will an Easter egg hunt following worship.
Sunday April 16th: New members joining the church and welcome breakfast following church in fellowship hall. Sunday School for kids during worship service with parents supervising lesson.
Sunday April 23rd: Sunday School for kids for the last time as we head into summer break. In the fall we’ll resume kid’s Sunday School and begin confirmation that will run through the spring.
Synthea and I will be on vacation in Siesta Keys, Florida April 24th – May 7th
Blessings, Pastor Michael
- Holy Week, April 2-9
- Palm/Passion Sunday, April 2nd
- Maundy Thursday, April 6th
- Good Friday, April 7th
- Easter Sunday, April 9th
- Administrative Professionals Day, April 26th
Complete Trust, Even Amid Suffering
In a Good Friday column written during the pandemic, Michael Gerson said anguish is warranted in the face of death. As Jesus suffers on the cross, he asks why his Father has forsaken him. To Gerson, this proves that “anguish and questioning are not sins or weaknesses. They are the proper responses to the horrors of death. In the ninth hour, God gave permission for confusion. He dignified doubt.”
But Christ’s final words — committing himself into his Father’s hands — “ring a different note,” adds Gerson. “This was more than resignation; it was trust. In the end, [Jesus] found, not an answer, but a person — someone capable of reversing the verdict of Good Friday. That is all we are promised, and it is more than enough.”
The Resurrection occurred without a hitch, but church services aren’t always as fortunate. Pastors shared Easter goofs with Outreach magazine — and you can share them for Holy Humor Sunday on April 16.
During a prayer, one pastor said, “Jesus, we love you to death.” Though it was fitting, the slip-up led to chuckles.
Actors in Passion Plays apparently tend to fall off crosses. After one did so and muttered a swear word, the pastor said, “At least he’s the unbelieving thief.” And when a man playing Jesus had to be reattached to his cross, a pastor said the real Jesus “would have climbed back on out of love.”
Shocked by the early rehearsal time, a guitarist asked, “Whose idea was it for Easter to be in the morning?”
Before leading a sunrise service, a pastor was informed of a member’s death. So he was briefly “thrown … when she walked up in the early morning shadows.” Turns out there’d been a name mixup. “I believe in resurrection power,” says the pastor. “But I was more than a little surprised at what I was seeing!”
Sharing the Load
In 1969 the Hollies released “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” Do you know the story behind that song title?
Fifty years earlier in Omaha, Nebraska, a boy with polio was abandoned at Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys, predecessor to the Boys Town organization. Soon several older residents started carrying young Howard — with his heavy leg braces — especially up stairs. Father Flanagan once saw an older boy, Reuben, doing this and asked if it was hard work. Reuben replied, “He ain’t heavy, Father. He’s my brother.” Years later, these words and the image of one person carrying another became the Boys Town brand.
All of us have been “carried” at some point, and we’ve likely “carried” someone else. The Hollies’ song declares: “His welfare is my concern.” Jesus said it this way: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The load isn’t too heavy to bear because Jesus himself is always carrying us.
Death Doesn’t Win
In the final hours of 2021, a wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, destroyed 1,000 homes, including one belonging to Pastor Bill Stephens. His family, out of town at the time, lost all their possessions. After months of feeling buried in debris, insurance paperwork and mourning, Stephens decided that Easter 2022 would mark a fresh start.
During worship that morning, the pastor shared a photo of vibrant daffodils emerging on his charred property. Burned remnants were visible in the background, just as Easter’s backdrop includes the pain and death of Good Friday. But the empty tomb in Easter’s foreground means death won’t win, reminded Stephens. Even when earthly life “isn’t all daffodils,” we have hope and eternal life through Jesus.
Easter reveals that God will “give us the joy, and it’s going to be in the heart of pain that we go through as well,” added the pastor. “And that just makes me draw closer to God.”
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” —John Wooden