The Resurrection of Our Lord; Year C (4/4/2010)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Lessons: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 65:17-25 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (24) 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 or Acts 10:34-43 St. Luke 24:1-12 or St. John 20:1-18

Prayer of the Day O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

24:1 … On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.


St. Luke 24:1-12 New Revised Version Bible (C)1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

Worship feeds me. I love rich worship services. I look for other congregations where my family and I can worship when I’m on vacation. Every year I eagerly anticipate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (usually 5 full services in the span of about 18 hours). And one of the best weeks of the year, for me, is this one: Holy Week (with two services on Palm Sunday, three evening services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and two more services on Easter Sunday).

I realize that most people don’t seem to need worship as often as I do. (Maybe the reality is that most people don’t need forgiveness as often as I do…) I recognize that many people feel like they need a break now and again from getting kids fed and dressed and off to church on time. (I say that, fully acknowledging that I only actually do that three or four times a year anyway.)

That said, I can’t recommend strongly enough, even to those of you who only worship occasionally, the practice of fully participating in Holy Week Worship. The story of the last week in Jesus’ life is a stirring one, and the more deeply we enter into it, the stronger is our experience of God’s grace and peace is on Easter morning.

Maundy Thursday: Service of Holy Communion, beginning at 7:00 pm. This evening’s liturgy begins the Triduum (“three day”) worship service: one service, spread out over the course of three days. Join us as we meet Jesus in the upper room, witness the very first communion service (Jesus’ Last Supper), hear of him washing the feet of his disciples, and consider the new commandment (Mandatum Novum) he gives to the disciples that they should love one another as he loves them.

Good Friday: Service of the Word, beginning at 8:00 pm. On this day we stand in agony with his followers as he is arrested, persecuted, and eventually crucified. This evening’s liturgy includes scripture, prayer, reflection and meditation on the cross of Jesus.

Holy Saturday: The Easter Vigil, beginning at 9:00 pm. This service traditionally begins outside, around new fire in the parking lot. A dramatic service with lights, movement, readings that span the entire Bible,  – this year’s vigil includes a baptismal celebration and concludes with the first celebration of the Easter Eucharist. This year’s service promises to be a rich and rewarding one. If you haven’t ever attended an Easter Vigil, this may be the year to make it an annual tradition.

Easter Sunday: beginning at 8:30 am and 10:45 am. Come proclaim with us that Christ is risen. (He is risen indeed!) This day marks the climax of the entire church year – you won’t want to miss it, no matter where you are this weekend.

If you are in the Denver area, I encourage you to stop by Saint Peter this week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you find yourself on the road, be sure to visit a local Lutheran or Episcopal or Catholic Church (I can refer you to ELCA congregations, if you are interested: give me a call, or visit http://elca.org/FindaChurch).

The walk with Jesus, through Holy Week, is a powerful way to prepare for the good news that we proclaim on Easter Sunday: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” May this year’s celebration of the resurrection transform your hearts and minds, and empower you to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

David J. Risendal, Pastor

This Week’s Gospel

  1. What are the most important events of Holy Week?
  2. How did the various individuals (disciples, church leaders, crowd…) participate in the events of this week?
  3. What do the words of Jesus during this week have to say to believers?

Connecting with This Week’s Gospel:

  1. What have my strongest Holy Week experiences been?
  2. What commitment am I willing to make to worship during Holy Week this year?
  3. Who might I invite to join me in Holy Week worship this year?