The coming week is Holy Week. Starting with Palm Sunday, and including Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, this week culminates in Easter Sunday morning. It's hard not to think of the word kerygmatic. The "kerygma' of our faith is the most essential part of it. The word is related to a seed, or kernel. From this small thought, all other Christian thought is derived: Jesus Christ, God's Son came to us, died for us and was raised from the dead for our salvation. All those things happen during Holy Week.
As I blogged about here, we'll start the week with Palm / Passion Sunday. At the beginning of the service, we'll wave palm branches and celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry to Jerusalem, but then we'll turn to the darker Good Friday themes including Jesus' crucifixion and death. This should set the tone for the week. The lines of one of our hymns for Sunday says, "remind us, God, as this week starts where Christ has fixed his gaze."
Throughout the week, I'll be blogging on the "Lauds for the Lectionary" blog, which you can find here. Whether you follow me daily there or not, I encourage you to take extra time this week for personal devotion. The lectionary is following the Gospels of Luke and John, but you could read which ever gospel is your favorite just a little each day. Or set aside some time for prayer each morning (you could come to the 8:00 daily prayer service) or evening. Or read and pray through the Psalms. If you get more out of service, do that. Be sure to leave a little space for listening to what God is saying to you in this holy season. Maybe try a little of each each day: reading, praying, working, listening.
First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, and First Christian churches have been worshipping together. Ash Wednesday was at our church, Maundy Thursday will be at the First United Methodist church, and Good Friday will be at the First Christian Church. These services all start at 7:00PM.
Then after a week of devotion, after celebrating Christ's gift of his presence in communion on Maundy Thursday, after looking with awe on the cross and what Jesus has done for us there, it will be Easter morning! Easter is the joyous celebration of the resurrection. It is always happy. I cannot think of a single Easter with so much as bad weather. We will celebrate God's victory over death in the resurrection of his Son. I hope that you will put some time in the devotional exercises I've suggested for Holy Week so that your Easter can be even more meaningful. Wake up and look on the empty tomb and laugh and shout for joy with us. Alleluia.