Grace and Peace to you all!
It appears Spring has arrived! Or is at least trying. The arrival of Spring, especially in Wisconsin, often lifts our spirits with better weather and longer days filled with more sunlight that seems to prepare us for Easter. Just as the winter helps us appreciate Spring more, so does the season of lent help us prepare for the joy of Easter.
As we enter into the second half of the Lenten season, we continue to look inward and examine our relationship with God. We consider what ‘things’ get in the way of a deeper relationship with the Divine. Author Marjorie Thompson, in her book
, gently reminds us that,
“Self-examination is not an invitation to psychoanalysis, problem solving,
self-lecturing, or ego absorption. The whole point of self-examination
is to become more centered in God by observing the moments when
we are or are not so....Self-examination is an opportunity to discover
the problematic parts of your own attitudes and choices. A true spirit
of confession actually increases authentic self-acceptance and love.”
May this Lenten season deepen your relationship with God, through Christ, and may those things that provide obstacles and distractions in that relationship be recognized and removed not only in this Lenten season, but throughout the year.
For me, one of the most meaningful worship services happens on Good Friday. It is the time when we remember most vividly how human Jesus was as we remember his crucifixion. It is only when we embrace the darkness of Good Friday that we can fully appreciate the joy of Easter morning.
Later in the newsletter are details about the worship services of Holy Week here at Grace Church.
All are welcome! In anticipation of Easter, we remember the events of Holy Week.
Palm Sunday (April 14) – Palm Sunday known as Passion Sunday, is a feast day that commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It falls on the Sunday before Easter, marking the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent.
Monday of Holy Week (April 15) – On this day, Jesus cleansed the Temple and cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit. That evening, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and her tears.
Tuesday of Holy Week (April 16) – On Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus debated with the religious authorities in the Temple and issued his famous discourse about the end of the age on the Mount of Olives.
Wednesday of Holy Week (April 17) – By Wednesday, the religious leaders were conspiring to kill Jesus, and Judas began striking his deal of betrayal.
Maundy Thursday (April 18) – Maundy Thursday memorializes the Last Supper of Jesus. It is the day in which he washed his disciples’ feet and invited Peter, James, and John to pray with him the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest.
Good Friday (April 19) – Good Friday is the day in which we observe the crucifixion of Jesus.
Holy Saturday (April 20) – Holy Saturday commemorates the day Jesus’ body lay in the tomb. It is the last day of Holy Week and is considered a day of mourning.
May this Lenten season give us pause to dream about who we are as Grace United Church of Christ, and about what it means to be God’s church. May the joy of Easter give us courage to “Be the Church” in all the best ways possible, and to think about our life-giving ministries and missions and be open to the possibilities that God puts before us as we celebrate the joy of Easter and share the gifts give to us by the Risen Christ! Thanks be to God!
Peace & Blessings,