Pastor’s Pen for April 2014

Written by Pastor's Pen - April 6, 2014 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

On Sunday, April 20, we join with Christians all over the world in celebrating the greatest event ever – the resurrection of our Lord.  Jesus being raised from the dead represents God’s victory over the forces of evil and death.  It means that we, along with all of God’s people, have been set free from our sin and will live with God forever.

In order to fully experience the triumph of Easter, however, we first need to walk with Jesus along the way of the cross.  We need to witness his betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion.  Unless we sense something of the pain Jesus went through – and understand that we, through our sin, helped cause that pain – we cannot know the full impact of the words, “Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!”  I encourage you, therefore, to worship with us during our special Holy Week services:

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 13 – 8:30 and 10:45 a.m.  The mood of this service changes from one of rejoicing as we raise our palm branches and celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, to one of sadness as we hear in both scripture and song the story of Jesus’ suffering and death.

Maundy Thursday, April 17 – 7:00 p.m.  We hear the new commandment that Jesus gives his disciples, the command “to love one another as I have loved you.”  We are empowered to fulfill that commandment as we receive the Lord’s Supper.  This contemporary service includes a dramatic presentation, “Nothing But the Blood.”

Good Friday, April 18 – 7:00 p.m.  During a moving Tenebrae service in which the sanctuary is gradually darkened, we hear the Seven Last Words of Christ both spoken and sung, and we reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice of love.

Prayer Vigil:  From the end of the Good Friday service until midnight on Easter morning, members of St. Andrew “keep vigil,” praying and meditating in the church sanctuary.  A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the narthex for those wishing to participate in this contemplative experience.

Having shared in the events of Holy Week through worship and prayer, we are now ready to celebrate the good news of the resurrection!

Easter Sunrise – 6:30 a.m.  With the cross draped in black, we gather silently in the dark sanctuary.  As the story of the resurrection is read aloud, the sanctuary is lighted, the cross is unveiled, and the congregation bursts into song.  Together we worship the risen Christ!

Easter Festival – 8:30 Traditional, 10:45 Contemporary:  We come together to celebrate the central event of the Christian faith – the resurrection of our Lord!  Easter lilies, special music, joyful and enthusiastic singing, and a Gospel-centered message of hope all add to the celebration of this day.

You and I are indeed a people who are blessed.  To be able to worship the God who raised Jesus from the dead is one of the greatest gifts there is!  I hope you make plans to join us for as many of these worship opportunities as you can.

Easter blessings,

Pastor Selbo

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