The gift of these holy days
As we come to the great three days of the Church year, we encourage you to open your heart, not only to remember what happened from Thursday evening through Easter Day 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, but to make our Lord's passion, death and resurrection real for you.
When we gather on Maundy Thursday, we remember Jesus taking bread and wine and sharing it with his disciples. We remember he washed their feet. We also participate in what he did that night at the Lord's Table, receiving as from his hand his body and blood given for "millions and for me." And we enact the foot washing not as a historical recreation, but as a living out of his call to serve one another throughout the year in the life of our community at St. John's.
We have an opportunity after the service (and also the next day on Good Friday) to take stock of our own lives and experience private sacramental confession available at the high altar. Explore the places where you have not lived in accord with the teaching of the Gospel in your life. What have you done and left undone? Then come to confess those particular faults and receive the forgiveness and absolution Christ left as a gift to his Church. While no one is required to avail themselves of sacramental confession in the Episcopal Church, it is a wonderful gift offered to each of us, to say aloud where we have failed and to hear the words of forgiveness and mercy spoken by the church through her priests to your heart.
Good Friday not only recalls our Lord's death and burial, but allows us to come to the crucified Lord to acknowledge that we too will one day come to the end of our lives, knowing he has gone there before us and that through his death, he has opened up the way for us to enter new life.
Of course, Saturday evening and Sunday will bring that gift of life front and center. The resurrection isn't just something great that happened to Jesus. It’s about us too. We can live as Christians right now as citizens of the new creation that began on Easter morning. The abundant life and freedom Jesus offers isn't just for when we leave this life, but we can begin to live that life with one another now in the community of believers.
Please come to all these events. Fully experiencing these days will bring you closer to the life changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's come together as Christ's people in this place and live the mysteries we celebrate.