Love Leads the Way

Holy Week is the heart of the church’s ritual, theological, and missional life. Everything we do in worship, doctrine and mission is grounded in, leads to, and springs from the events of this week. The life and mission of Jesus meet their fullest test and so should we. Jesus stares directly into the face of the structures of sin and the powers of death and remains true to his calling and the work of God’s kingdom and so can we. Jesus is executed by crucifixion. Three days later, God raises Jesus from death in sure and certain pledge of raising all who are found in him.  Everything is here. Life, sin, love, and death. Easter proclaims that the life and love of Jesus overcomes sin and death in our world as well as in our lives. This week remembers, enacts, and participates in the hope of the renewing of all creation, beginning with our lives and our loves, here and now.  
 
That is why these eight days from Passion/Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday are so important for our faith development. This is an intense journey that these services take us through. Hope, community, betrayal, trial, execution, death, burial, watching at the grave, and the disturbing or even terrifying surprise of resurrection and an empty tomb meet us through this week. And in gathering to observe them, we open ourselves to the many ways the Holy Spirit has been active, is active, and will be active in the church and world throughout history, in our own lives, and in the lives of those who follow us in seeking to live the way of Jesus in generations to come.
 
As those who follow in the footsteps of the Wesley’s, we know that the power of such ritual in gathered community throughout this week will take deeper root in our own lives if we also practice the means of grace of family and private prayer. That is I will be providing resources for ways to observe family or private prayer using the lectionary readings for each day of Holy Week, Monday through Saturday.
 
Our Rehab journey has brought us to this point. We are prepped now to walk through the most painful and difficult part of this journey with Jesus and each other - his final days of challenge, suffering, torture, pain, agony, loss, and death. When we consider what is coming, we can choose to stay in touch with all we are experiencing, individually and together, or disconnect, shrug our shoulders and shut down our feelings. Rehab has been teaching us to stay connected, to experience it all, to take it all in, be moved by it, and trust ourselves to God’s grace and each other through it. And to do so confident that Jesus’ love leads the way to life… even through the pain of crucifixion, death, and the tomb.                                

Pastor Jim

Hanna United Methodist Church

Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

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