“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” - John 13:34
Tonight, we begin three of the holiest days in the Christian calendar. These are the days leading up to Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection.
On Maundy Thursday, we remember Jesus' final words to his disciples as they broke bread in the Upper Room. This is the day Jesus instituted the sacrament of holy communion. This is also the day Jesus washed his disciples' feet and gave them a new command - to love & serve one another as we are loved & served by Christ. (Note: the word maundy comes from the Latin term mandatum, which means "commandment.")
On Good Friday, we remember Jesus the events of Jesus' suffering and death. After sharing the last supper with his disciples, Jesus was betrayed and handed over to his enemies, who tried, mocked, and beat him. After being dragged around to multiple hearings before Jewish & Roman officials, Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate, who gave the order for his crucifixion.
On this day that we refer to as "good," Jesus hung on a cross between two criminals. Before the day ended, Jesus died and was buried. A few of the women stood with him in his final hours. All but one of his disciples abandoned him.
On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection. This was the day Jesus' disciples discovered the empty tomb. Jesus was no longer gone! He was no longer dead! As Jesus promised, he was raised from the dead!
Friends, I hope you'll make it a priority to worship with us on these holy days. Let's remember the story of Christ's passion and suffering. Let's relive the story of Easter.
If you cannot join us for worship, I hope you'll find a church close to wherever you are. If you can't find a church, I encourage you to find a worship service online. Without the cross, we cannot fully comprehend the meaning of resurrection.
A few notes for Easter Sunday @ Faith:
First - I remind us that our mission is to bring people to Jesus Christ. Our priority is helping unchurched and dechurched people connect with God through worship, education, mission, and fellowship.
I hope you'll help us carry out our mission by helping us welcome our guests and visitors. If you're seated by someone you don't know, please introduce yourself. Let them know you're glad to see them. Invite them back to worship with us next Sunday. If you see people looking for seats, please move over and make room. If you see anyone who is lost or searching for the bathroom or the nursery, please help them find their way. It's a big step for many people to step into a church for the first time (or the first time in a long time.) Let's help each person feel welcome and loved.
Second - If you are able, please join me in parking in our auxiliary parking lot (next to the fire station, across 80th Ave.) We want to do everything we can to ensure space for our visitors and guests. No one should feel unwelcomed even before they step into the doors of the church.
Third - Let's "move up and move in." If you normally sit in the back of the sanctuary, please move up a few rows. If you normally sit on the end of a row, please move in. Let's ensure that our guests (and any late-comers) have room to sit in the sanctuary. Also, please be gracious if people are sitting in your "regular" seats. Remember that there are no assigned seats at Faith.
I am totally pumped to worship with y'all this weekend. Even as we celebrate the miracle of our Lord's resurrection, let's embrace our mission of loving and serving all who seek Him.