Holy Week 2020: Why We Do What We Do
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
It was such a joy to see you for the Palm Sunday Drive-Thru. Reflecting with you on "Jesus is given his cross" was powerful in many ways. Many Godly Play kids knew the Old Testament story of the bronze snake - and pointed out that the bronze snake on the staff was for the Israelites' healing, just as the bread and wine is for our healing. Amen! (And these kids didn't even know that the early church called communion the "medicine of immortality.") If you weren't able to make it yesterday, here is the image and know that you were missed.
We also noted the powerful nod that this cross was making towards our healthcare providers (the snake on the staff is the traditional symbol for hospitals and medicine) and their current sacrificial (and cruciform) role they are playing in our society right now. Please keep praying for them.
Here is Why We Do What We Do
Liturgical "Walk-Thru" Church: The Stations of the Cross
During this week, we wanted to provide a meditative space for you to enter into Jesus' passion (passion means suffering in Latin). If you are able to, park in our parking lot and walk slowly around the church, reflecting and praying through Jesus' stations of the cross. Setting aside time to do this will help prepare you for the joy of Easter ahead. (For more instructions from Matt's previous email, click here.)
Good Friday "Tenebrae" Service (9-11am, 1-3pm, 6-8pm)
This year on Good Friday, we will continue our traditional service of the stripping of the Christmas Tree, and turning it into a barren cross - but we will do it outdoors. After you have walked the stations of the cross, Pastors Matt & Carson will assist you (and your family) in cutting off a branch of the Christmas Tree as you "cut off" something in your life that is hindering you from connection with the Lord - and understanding more personally the work of the cross in your life.
We started this service in Scotland in an attempt to keep Christmas and Easter - incarnation and redemption - always tightly bound in our hearts and minds. We know from Matt's Backyard Pilgrim book that the incarnation was not just the first domino to fall in a series of events leading to the crucifixion. Rather, it is the continuation of a love story. We are not just a problem to be fixed by Good Friday. God created the cosmos to love us and to eventually be with us. Keeping creation - incarnation - and redemption tightly bound together (as symbolized in the Christmas Tree turned barren Crucifix turned bursting with new life) reminds us that God isn't just trying to fix us, but that the story of redemption is part of a bigger revelation of God's eternal heart toward us.
The origins of this service (not the Christmas Tree clipping, but simply gathering together on Good Friday) originated in Jerusalem before the 4th century. With Jesus' divinity finally established in the creeds, people had space to begin exploring his humanity - and they began going in droves to Jerusalem on pilgrimage. What they discovered was an active "church of Jerusalem" spread across the whole city, with its own native traditions - and resident Christians "keeping watch" through the whole city, at different holy sites associated with Jesus, through the three days. The entire church roamed over the whole city, going to site by site, and holding a service at each place in memory of Christ and his love for them. When pilgrims experienced this for themselves, they began to bring this tradition back with them to Europe.
If you did not receive a communion pack on Sunday, don't miss out on drawing something for us on this sheet. Perhaps draw what cross you are carrying? Or perhaps draw what Christ has done for you? Either way, bring it to the Good Friday Tree Clipping for a collective visual meditation.
Easter Sunday: Liturgical Drive-Thru 9-11am
(cars with 4 or more can come between 9-10am).
This day is the high point of the church calendar, the pivot around which the rest of the year turns. This is when we celebrate the mystery of when the new creation begins - in Christ's resurrected body, and now for our bodies. When you arrive at the drive-thru, we have a new liturgical greeting well known by all Godly Play children: He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! We also are able to say "Gloria!" again - so that we can do this corporately, we will send you a few songs to lead you either at home, or to play in your cars.
Please bring a food offering for Serve Wenatchee (you can also bring a tithe), and fresh flowers/greens from the store or garden for the Easter Cross.
If you cannot make it this Sunday, stay tuned for an Easter liturgy that we'll send you so that you can participate from home.
We miss you Trinity! We cannot wait to be with you Sunday, either in body or spirit...
P.S. - Here is an article that I wrote about Lent that was released two weeks ago, that might help also focus your reflections for this holy week.