And so we begin Holy Week. In some European nations, there will be solemn processions of men carrying heavy statues of the crucified Christ through the streets. I watched those processions one Holy Week in Seville in Spain, and I marveled at the faith that drew people to the streets, the way the men carried their burdens in bare feet to better declare their gratitude. It was holy and scary for a United Methodist so far from home.
As for us, we have been blessed in the words of our cantata “Jesus! The Resurrection of the Messiah”. We are surrounded by so much talent, and we are grateful to each and everyone who used their gifts and talents to usher us into Holy Week. Thank you to all who sang, played, directed and participated in the wonder of the cantata.
As the children swept through, waving palm branches and shouting Hosanna, we had to smile and remember times gone by when we ourselves were young enough to be a part of the palm parade. Even so, we know that these same palm branches that make us smile today will be the ashes that proclaim our sin next Ash Wednesday.
With Word, music, prayer and palms, our hearts are in the right place to look ahead to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
On Maundy Thursday, (April 18 at 7:00 PM) We will recall Jesus’ last meal with his Disciples and his journey from the Table to Golgotha in Word, music, Holy Communion, and closing with the stripping of the Sanctuary. This year, the last supper has captured my imagination and meditations. If the disciples had realized it was to be the last supper on earth with Jesus, what would they have done differently?
In his book Gathering the Fragments, Edward J. Farrell wrote, “I find myself reflecting on the last supper of Jesus. We recognize a final occasion when it is happening. Only in retrospect do we recognize that is was the last. Then we recall every moment, every gesture and try to draw from it what we will carry with us the rest of our lives. So easily we take for granted the meals of every day. They are so regular and common, so ordinary, as long as they continue. But when it is the last one, all of the previous ones are drawn into it and it becomes a singularity, and once and never again. It becomes a rare, precious moment to be treasured forever.”
We seldom realize how precious our moments are until they pass. May God help us to be more aware of and more grateful for the present moment.
Good Friday (April 19 noon to 2 PM and 5 PM to 7 PM)
This year we will have the opportunity to publicly profess our faith by walking and praying the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
You are welcome to come and join us as we take this walk – stopping at each station for prayer and meditation. This can be a moving experience for individuals or families. Please plan to prayerfully participate in this very personal walk with Jesus. There are 2 opportunities for you to pray the stations, the first starting at noon and the second at 5 PM.
Near the church entrances, you will find crosses where you may place flowers, take pictures, and rejoice in the world made beautiful in the glory of Jesus Christ!
Sunrise Service – worship begins at 6:30 AM on the beach near the pier with music, joy and a WORD or hope as we celebrate NEW LIFE in the fulfilled promises of Christ.
8:30 and 11:00 Traditional worship – We join in praise that Christ is Risen, including the “Hallelujah Chorus”
Third Sunday Communion – On this holiest of days, we will offer Holy Communion at 8:45 in the Sanctuary
11:00 Wave Contemporary worship – With contemporary praise and worship, we celebrate the Risen Christ.
We pray that your Easter plans include some special time with family and friends and some joyous, reflective time with your Savior.
That all might have time to rest and rejoice, our church offices will be closed on Monday, April 22, 2019.