Sunday, March 29 2020
Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:38-43)
This past two weeks have been very difficult for many of us. Some are sick, some have lost jobs, some have closed their businesses, and some of us feel like we have been in a cave for four days. St. John’s will continue to do Morning Prayer each day this week at 9:00 AM. On Tuesday we will have Bible Study at 11:00 AM, Stations of the Cross at 5:30 PM, and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. We will celebrate Palm Sunday at 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM on April 5th, Maundy Thursday at 7:30 PM on April 9th, Good Friday at 12-3 PM and 7:30 PM on April 10th, and Easter on April 12th. We hope to throw in a few surprises also. The church will be closed, but our hearts will be open and Jesus will Rise. If you would like to participate in any of the services, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Palm Sunday we will re-member the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem without palms, a beautifully decorated altar, or a procession. We will celebrate Palm Sunday with a reading of the Passion of our Lord. If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead, he can be present in the Word of God.
The services of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are referred to as the Paschal Triduum. They are the core liturgical observances of the Christian year because we re-member what God has done, is doing and will do for us. They are also the time of year when many people who have wondered away from God, come back to church.
Maundy Thursday service begins online at 7:30 pm. The Gospel from John is read and we usually wash each other’s feet as a sign of our servanthood and love of one another. The service usually ends with a dramatic stripping of the altar.
Good Friday is a somber reminder of the depth of God’s love for us. Our first service is at 12:00 noon. We pray at the foot of the cross with Mary and John. We pray in silence and ponder the incredible love of God in the act of Jesus death on the cross for our sins. At 7:00 PM, we follow the Stations of the Cross and at 7:30 PM we have a choral service.
Easter Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the hope that Christ gives to each of us. We sing one of our favorite hymns, “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” These services help us to see ourselves as part of a community baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Join us at all of the Triduum services and invite friends, family, newcomers, and guests to join us. Please re-member that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In Christ’s love,