Friday, March 31 2023
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You’ve always done things differently … and they’ve never failed.
Like the time you turned water into wine.
Or like when you rubbed mud on the blind man’s eyes so he could see.
Or when you healed the paralyzed man because his friends truly believed.
And like the time You entered Jerusalem riding on the back of a colt,
And they asked, “Who is this?”
And they - along with the rest of the world would soon know.
They knew you as the one who healed the sick and fed the poor.
The one who turned lives inside out and upside down.
The one who had 12 close friends, raised a man named Lazarus from the dead,
and told a cripple to get out of bed.
But soon they would see you are more than anyone who had come before.
Just in time - Hope had arrived.
Some cheered and cried Hosanna.
Save us! Save us now!
Please, save us.
They waved palm branches and laid them down
so you wouldn’t have to touch the ground.
Children sat on the shoulders of parents
as they pointed to the one they’d been waiting for
Echoes of Jesus is Lord filled the city
as you moved toward the beginning of the end.
And we thought that The King was coming to take His crown!
But you knew the King was coming to be buried in the ground,
to bring us from lost to found.
Good arrives only to die, only to rise, only for the world to realize
You are who you say You are:
This Lenten season has sure had its ups and downs. Our Lenten program featured a courageous group of parishioners that brought hope to the border. We met Max and Yuna, who are refugees from Ukraine living in our apartment. They told of how they were forced from their homeland and how much they appreciated the kindness and love of the inter- faith communities of Huntington. They have received jobs and are learning to drive this week. Last week we sent our Curate off to St. Paul’s, and we will miss him dearly.
Palm Sunday and Easter are the core liturgical observances of the Christian year and they are filled with ups and downs. Many of us experience ups and downs in our faith. This is the week when many people who have been down spiritually, come back to church. At St. John’s we say we, “Know Christ and make him known.” Please invite a family member or friend back to church.
Maundy Thursday is a simple Seder at 5:30 PM and Eucharist at 7:30 PM in the tradition of the last supper. The Gospel from John is read and we wash each other’s feet as a sign of our servanthood and love of one another. The service ends with a dramatic stripping of the altar and we pray through the night, unable to stay up for even an hour.
Good Friday is a somber reminder of the depth of God’s love for us. We begin with Stations of the Cross at 7:00 PM and then have a Good Friday service at 7:30 PM. 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.
Easter Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the hope that Christ gives to each of us. All are welcome to share with us in his resurrection. The 7:30 AM service begins with a fire in the Garden of Blessings. The children will celebrate with singing during the 9:00 service and an Easter egg hunt afterwards. The 11:00 AM service will have beautiful music. We will proclaim the resurrection. Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
These services help us to see ourselves as part of a community baptized into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I urge you to come to as many Holy Week services as you are able, to invite guests and to welcome everyone with open arms to meet the King.
In Christ’s love,