God loves you: Abide. Invite. Welcome.
When I first began speaking these words to you, I defined God’s love as “Radical Rescue,” drawing on these revelatory words from John: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Through the sacrifice of Jesus – his suffering and death – we are rescued from sin and its consequences. Such is the passionate love of God.
Holy Week, beginning this Palm Sunday and continuing through Holy Saturday, immerses us in this Passion. It brings us into the heart of how God rescues us from evil and grief. On Sunday we will hear Isaiah prophesy how Jesus carries our sorrows and is wounded for our iniquities – “where the wrongs we have done, and the wrongs done to us, are nailed there with him, there at the cross.”
This week the invitation is to bring the griefs and evils of life into the Passion of Jesus. It may be the anguish from the devastation in the news, the despair of an extended illness, the shame of a hidden sin, the sorrow over a failing relationship, the guilt from a recent relapse – whatever “it” may be, in the Passion of Jesus the Rescue begins, drawing us from darkness and death into light and life.
The ancient meaning of “passion” is extreme suffering; the common meaning today is deep devotion. Both apply to the love of God in Jesus. Join us for our Holy Week services to participate in this love:
· Palm Sunday (10am): We’ll begin this day of celebration and sorrow outside the Mission Outpost, processing together with waving palms into the building. (Remember to carpool if possible!)
· Maundy Thursday (7pm): Following the example of Jesus, we’ll have the opportunity to wash each other’s feet or hands. We’ll then step further into the suffering of Jesus through the Stripping of the Altar.
· Good Friday: Outside the church at noon, together we’ll visit each of the Stations of the Cross. Then from 12:30pm-3pm, you may visit the Nave to walk at your own pace through an Interactive Stations of the Cross. At 7pm, we will gather in the Nave for a Good Friday service (with music from our Choir and from Jordan), culminating in time spent praying before the cross.
· Holy Saturday (9am-12:30pm): Pastor Sallie will guide us through a series of meditations, and both Sallie and I will offer the Right of Reconciliation, a private, one-on-one brief liturgy for hearing confessions. Sallie will be available to the Saturday retreatants; I will meet with those who sign up via this link. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is another time you’d prefer to meet for this powerful Rite.
You are loved: Abide. Invite. Welcome.
Your Pastor in Christ,