Holy Week and Easter services at First United Methodist

The Holy Week and Easter season focuses attention on the powerful Gospel accounts of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. While the week begins with the celebratory tone of Palm Sunday, it moves quickly toward what we Christians have called the Triduum Sacrum, the three most sacred days of the year. Really, they are the three most important days of all time!
 
The first day is Maundy Thursday. It gets its name from the command, the mandatum, that Jesus gave us during the Passover meal to love one another in the way that he has loved us.
 
The second day is Good Friday. Why do we call this day “good?” I’ve read that some scholars speculate that “Good Friday” comes from “God’s Friday” in the same way that “good-bye” was originally “God be with you.” I have found that we very easily skip over the darkness of Good Friday and move to the celebration of Easter Sunday. I think it would be good for our souls to sit for a while in Good Friday and let our hearts be broken by the unspeakable bad of this Friday that we call “good.” Descending with Jesus into the depths of his Passion on Friday will help us experience more fully the light, joy and life of Easter Sunday.
 
This leads us to the third day which is Resurrection Day or Easter Sunday. On this day we celebrate Jesus’ conquest of sin and death. Our Christian brothers and sisters in the eastern traditions call this Sunday “Pascha” which is another name for the Jewish Passover. It tells us that if we want to understand the saving work of Jesus, the best place to go is to the Passover feast where the spotless lamb dies for the sins of the people. But, of course, in this case, the Lamb does not stay dead!
 
Here at First United Methodist, we have numerous events and worship services during Holy Week to enable us to walk through the sadness, mystery, and joy of Jesus’ great work of redemption. I encourage you to be involved in every way that you can. You will not be disappointed!
 
I look forward to experiencing Holy Week with you as we focus our attention on Jesus displaying His self-giving love to the uttermost (John 13:1).
 
Grace and peace,
 
Clint

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