Dear friends in Christ,
One of my favorite hymns for the Lenten season is “My Song is Love Unknown” by Samuel Crossman. It is an old hymn, from 1664, which recounts the events of Jesus’ life and passion from a first-person perspective. It invites us into the narrative and drama to experience it for ourselves. As we together approach Holy Week and the conclusion of Lent, one verse stands out:
“Sometimes we strew his way and his sweet praises sing;
resounding all the day hosannas to our king.
Then ‘Crucify!’ is all our breath,
and for his death we thirst and cry.”
Holy Week is the pinnacle of our church year in part because it does encompass such a breadth of emotions, reactions, and thoughts. We begin with joyful triumph on Palm Sunday, welcoming our Lord. By the time we have reached the stillness of the tomb on Holy Saturday, we have experienced Jesus’ humility in service, God’s great love poured out in bread and wine, our own betrayal of the one we claimed as Messiah, and the earth-stopping grief of Good Friday.
Throughout Holy Week, I will be posting a short reflection on my blog each day for your reflection and response. You can also sign-up to have a family devotional emailed to you each day at news.sparkhouse.org/heisrisen.
Our Holy Week services at St. Paul’s begin with Palm Sunday on April 9th at 9:00 and 10:45. Maundy Thursday is April 13th, with one service at 7:00; Good Friday service is at 7:00 on the 14th. All of this culminates with Festival Easter services on April 16th at 9:00 and 10:45.
I invite you into the drama and passion of Holy Week. May we experience first-person the timeless mystery of Easter: the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Christ—for us. The services of Holy Week are not merely a historical narrative, but instead a participation in these events through faith. We experience God’s great love and transformation that happened once and for all, and yet still happens on this day and for us.
May you have a meaningful end of Lent and Holy Week, and may Easter joy shine on you in the
light of the Risen Christ.