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  • Writer's pictureTom Emanuel


“Indian Christ” by Oscar Howe, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Vermillion SD

“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built in the human plan. We come with it.” --Margaret Atwood

“Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the HOLY ONE!”

“Do this, and remember me…”

“God, forgive them, for they know not what they do…”

“It is finished…”

In Holy Week, these ancient words become our own. We follow Jesus and his disciples every step of the way, from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, through to the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, to Golgotha itself on Good Friday. Then, on Holy Saturday, we wait with those earliest disciples for the first glimmers of dawn on Easter Sunday. In Holy Week, the 2,000-year-old story of a Galilean carpenter becomes our story. In Holy Week, God’s cosmic pattern of Life, Death, and Resurrection becomes the pattern of our very lives.

At UCCW this week, there are lots of ways you can live into the Jesus Story this week:

  • Join us Maundy Thursday 4/18 for a soup supper at 6pm, then move to the sanctuary at 7pm as we reenact the Last Supper in a special “Tenebrae” service of light and shadow.

  • On Good Friday 4/19, we will retell the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus as recounted in the Gospel according to John at a special, contemplative noonday prayer service, 12:05-12:45pm.

  • Let us join the disciples in watching and waiting for the coming of the Light on Holy Saturday 4/20 as we hold vigil from 6pm through the night to 6am on Easter Sunday. (Follow this link to sign up for a slot: we’re looking for volunteers!)

  • At the close of our vigil, at 6am on Easter Sunday 4/21, we will herald the first intimations of the Resurrection in the Labyrinth Garden with a contemplative sunrise service (weather permitting).

  • Then, at 10am on Easter Sunday 4/21, we’ll gather for a celebratory communion service to proclaim the heart of our faith: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ is coming again!

We hope you will join us for one or all of these services, and enter into God’s Big Story with us. And may you be blessed this Holy Week to have the courage of your convictions, the audacity to stand up to the forces of death and darkness, and the faith to believe in Hope that overcomes Despair and Love that conquers Fear.

Blessin’s, --Tom

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: When in your life have you had an experience of “crucifixion”? How about “resurrection”? What might it mean for us to live as “Easter people,” witnesses to the Resurrection in our own lives?

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