e-letter 4/12/19

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred week in the church calendar. We will celebrate the arrival of Jesus in music and song, with praise and thanksgiving, just as on that day long ago when people celebrated his arrival in Jerusalem by waving palm branches and shouting, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” It was a joyous day then, and it will be a joyous day this Sunday as our Chancel Choir leads us in worship in the Sanctuary at 9:30 and 11 (no 8am service this week) and our children’s ministry leads us in worship at the 9:30 Gathering in the Worship Center.

 

As we worship, we will celebrate the promise and power of Jesus to restore and renew us and this world. But we will also remember that the price of that restoration was not fully understood in the midst of the “hosannas” and palm waving. Beyond the shouts of “hosanna” there would be the cry of “crucify him”. Beyond the festal parade into Jerusalem there would be the parade of a cross that would lead to Calvary.

 

In order to truly understand and experience the power of Jesus as Savior and Messiah, we must be willing to attend to the other holy and mysterious moments that occur between Palm Sunday and Easter. We need to sit with Jesus at the table where he washed the disciple’s feet and shared the last Supper. We need to go with him to the Garden and hear him pray. We need listen as Peter denies even knowing his Lord. We need to stand with the other onlookers at the foot of the cross on Good Friday. We need to feel the weight and desolation that is Holy Saturday. We need to watch, listen, kneel and worship before the mystery of how God in Christ reaches into the mess of our lives and the world and accomplishes our restoration in order to fully appreciate the gift of Easter.

 

To that end, we invite you to join us for a variety of worship and prayer experiences designed to enable us to walk with Jesus through the journey of Holy Week:
Prayer Labyrinth: (New this year) The Labyrinth is a guided prayer experience that will focus on the power of God at work in us for restoration and renewal through scripture, prayer and multi-sensory experiences. The Labyrinth will be open from 7:30am–8pm Monday through Friday, April 15-19, in the Dining Room. Come any time for a quiet, contemplative space for prayer and reflection.
Holy Thursday Worship – 6:30 pm in the Worship Center. This service will include music,
prayer, drama and stations for holy communion, prayer and hand washing. (nursery available)
            Good Friday Prayer Walk – An ecumenical prayer gathering in downtown Melbourne beginning at 9 am at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The route is 1.5 miles and includes stations for prayer over those in need in our city; including the homeless, veterans, children, our leaders, etc. Read more about this in the announcement below.
            Good Friday Worship – 6:30 pm in the Sanctuary. This service will focus on the passion of Christ, telling the story in scripture, song and dramatic symbolism as we strip the sanctuary in recognition of the darkness and desolation of the crucifixion. (nursery available)

            Easter Sunday Worship – 7:00 am Sunrise Worship at the Cross-Tower Memorial Garden      8:00, 9:30 and 11 am Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary.

     9:30 and 11:00 Contemporary Worship in the Worship Center.

  We hope you will make it a point to participate in as many of these experiences for worship and prayer as possible. In doing so, we trust that Jesus will be present to continue his restorative work of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and new birth in each of us so that we might be agents of that restorative power in this community and the world.  

Our Lenten journey towards restoration continues. Easter is coming! Thanks be to God for God’s amazing grace that accompanies us along the way.

 

With grace for the journey, 

Annette