Easter Brunch, sponsored by Men of Bethany, is on Easter Sunday, April 1, 8:45-10:00 a.m. French toast bake and egg strata will be served. All are welcome, free-will offering.
Maundy Thursday! This Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., we partake of a meal that the Lord God has prepared with His own hands. It is a holy feast which nourishes our faith and restores our souls. It is a rich feast purchased with the most costly coin, the Son of God. We eat and drink; we remember, and we give humble thanks. Other holy meals have brought us to this feast, all meals provided by the hands of the Holy One. This day we remember the Passover meal and the blood of lambs on the doorposts that protected the Israelites from the angel of death. We remember the day of Passover and the Passover lamb because it points to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It points us to this holy feast of this Lamb’s body and blood. But there is one greater feast yet to come: the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom which has no end. A feast provided by the hands of the LORD God. A feast enjoyed in the presence of the Lamb in the courts of His heaven. A greater feast indeed!
Good Friday! This Friday at 1:30 or 6:30 p.m., we honor Christ’s sacrifice. This is a day of burdens. It is black Friday, Good Friday; and we feel the burden. We feel the burden of our sin. Yes, we know our sin is forgiven. We know we are forgiven, and we believe it; but there is still that feeling, that despair, that darkness of this day. Our Savior, the Son of God, hangs upon a tree, and His lifeblood flows down the wood and stains the ground. His blood instead of ours. This is a night of burdens. Surely He has borne our sin and carried our sorrows—He is the Sin-bearer. This journey began long ago in the wilderness as a goat received the sins of the people and was led out to the wilderness, to the evil one. Now the journey has come to a cross and the Scapegoat, Jesus. Jesus is our Burden-bearer, our Scapegoat, our Sin-bearer. On this Good Friday, we look upon the tree, and we see our sins laid upon the Holy One. We see our sins, we see our Savior, and we see our salvation.
Easter Vigil! One change we have made this year is moving our Easter Vigil from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. While not an easy change for some, the long-term goal is to have this service fit into the historic worship purposes, not just fit the normal weekly schedule. In time, many will come to appreciate this service as a part of our Holy Week observance. The Easter Vigil is not just another option in place of Easter morning, but the culmination of the Historic Tiduum, or three-day observance, of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil. The service starts outside with a fire and the lighting of the Christ Candle and our individual candles, moves into the sanctuary in darkness, and slowly transitions to more light through the service celebrating the passage of Christ from death into life and the Church’s passage through death into life with Him through Holy Baptism. We begin in hushed anticipation and climax in the exuberant celebration of the Paschal Feast in Christ’s victory.
Easter Morning Change! A reminder that we eliminated the 6:30 a.m. Easter service in order to have a more attend the 7:45 a.m. Easter service. While we lose an option for worship times, we hope people feel positive with having more people in worship and celebrating our Easter joy!