March 23, 2016 in Church News
When the Lord gave instructions to the Israelites concerning the first Passover meal they were to eat in Egypt, he included a command to commemorate this event by eating that same meal on that same day every year for generations to come. The Lord wanted the people to remember always that they had been slaves in Egypt and were now free due to the miraculous deliverance their Lord provided.
There is great value in remembering God’s acts of love and salvation. That is why we have chosen, as a liturgical church, to follow a church year which reviews all that Christ has done to save us–his humble birth, perfect life, innocent death, victorious resurrection and glorious ascension–year after year. That is why the next four days are the most important days on our worship calendar. They give us the opportunity to remember. On Maundy Thursday, we remember the institution of the Holy Supper together with Christ’s arrest at Gethsemane. On Good Friday, we remember the depth of Christ’s love in his suffering for the world’s sin on the cross. At the Easter Vigil, we are reminded of God’s gracious promises of new life and our baptismal connection to Christ. On Easter Sunday, we stare at the empty tomb and sing praise to our victorious King.
We already know the story. But the devil, the world and our sinful nature try very hard to make us forget–to shift our focus away from Christ to other concerns. Coming together to worship each day this weekend is one way for us to fight back against that temptation. It is a wonderful opportunity to remember and to rejoice. I look forward to spending these days in worship with you and once again commemorating our miraculous deliverance from eternal death.
The Lord is a Warrior
Exodus 15:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 24:1-12
Hymn of the Day:
“I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (CW #152)
COG Breaking News
Maundy Thursday (March 24th) – 6:30 p.m.
We gather to commemorate the night on which Jesus was betrayed–the night he instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Following the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the service concludes with a solemn stripping of the altar.
Good Friday (March 25th) – 7 p.m.
In our Good Friday Tenebrae Service, candles are extinguished one by one as we hear the Savior’s words from the cross. The service ends in complete darkness and a loud sound (strepitus) reminds us of the closing of the tomb.
Easter Vigil (March 26th) – 8 p.m.
In the early church, the Saturday of Holy Week was called the “Great Sabbath.” It was a day of meditation, fasting, and reflection in preparation for Easter. The Easter Vigil has been celebrated regularly since the days of Constantine the Great (300 A.D.)
This ancient service begins around a new fire kindled outside and continues with a candlelit processional into the darkened church. We remember our Baptism, our Savior God, and his death. The second half of the service bursts forth in Easter joy as we begin the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord. Easter Holy Communion is served.
Easter Festival Service (March 27th) – 10:30 a.m.
(Easter Breakfast beginning at 9:00 a.m.)
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Our 10:30 service on Easter Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection victory. We sing the great Easter hymns of the church with a variety of musical accompaniment. We hear the Easter message of hope and joy. Christ is risen, indeed!
Cross of Glory Book Club – April 9th
We will be holding a book club meeting on Saturday, April 9th, starting at 6:00 p.m. This month, we are meeting at the Terminis’ house. We will be discussing the book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. For more information, please contact Heather Hahm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Incredible Egg (3/16/16)