Holy Week and Sunday
SUNDAY, APRIL 21 at 10:00AM
The fire that consumed most of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday is a huge loss to the human family, the Christian world, to all French people as well as to Roman Catholics. For this tragedy to happen during Holy week only adds to the poignancy of the moment. We can easily say that the church is the people and not the building -which is true… but often, church buildings have power because they symbolize so much of a shared history. The loss of Notre Dame is the loss of some concrete reminders of a shared history of faith and community.
Holy week leads you and me into an intense experience of grief and loss as we recognize how fickle was the Jerusalem community’s encounter with Jesus. It also reminds us of all our own experiences of grief and loss. On Palm Sunday, the cries of Hosanna/Save Us surround Jesus with a chorus of adulation and celebration… within days, he is betrayed by one of his most trusted followers, then moved rapidly through kangaroo court experiences that lead to the crowds calling for his torture and execution. The grief is overwhelming… yet the story doesn’t end.
You and I can share part of this journey in church. Please plan to come on Thursday evening to the Maundy Thursday service in MacMurdo Hall. At 6:00pm a soup supper will be available for everyone to share. This will be followed by a ritual of hand-washing and communion… all around the same tables where we have shared a meal. The name Maundy comes from a Latin word meaning commandment. It was during this last supper that Jesus shared with his friends… and where he washed the disciples’ feet, that he also shared with them a very important teaching. He gave them what he called a new commandment. And that commandment was simply to love each other.
On Friday, a service at 7:00pm in the sanctuary will be a Good Friday service focused around the seven last sayings of Jesus from the cross. This will be a reflective service with several members of the community sharing their personal experiences of encountering Jesus on the cross. Please make plans to attend.
Easter Sunday morning begins with a Sunrise Service in the church garden at 6:30am. You do not need to be a morning person to make this personal pilgrimage to encounter the powerful message of resurrection! Please come and bring family and friends either to this service or to the Festival celebration service in the sanctuary at 10:00am.
Luke 24:1-12 (Common English Bible)
Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing.The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words. When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. Their words struck the apostles as nonsense, and they didn’t believe the women. But Peter ran to the tomb. When he bent over to look inside, he saw only the linen cloth. Then he returned home, wondering what had happened.
Where are you looking for Easter new life in your personal life or your life of faith? Where does the Sacramento community need to be looking for new life… or the nation or the world? How can you find a new energy for bringing new life to yourself or to others? My prayer is that everyone connected with St. Mark’s may find some new spiritual energy that brings life and hope to the world as result of their 2019 Holy Week/Easter experience.
Prayers please for:
Ruth Ann Baker
Peggy & Paul Blankenship
Jim & Johanna Brownell
Pat & Gordon Close
The international United Methodist Church as decisions are made about the future of the denomination.