Worship for Lent and Easter for 2018
Wednesdays during Lent • March 7, 14, & 21
• Lenten Worship from 6:30-7:15 p.m.
• 7th and 8th Grade Confirmation students are required to attend worship each week and must complete a special Lenten Worship Note each Wednesday.
Holy Week Worship Services
Þ Liturgy of the Palms • 5 p.m. Saturday, March 24 and 9 a.m. Sunday, March 25 Palm Sunday Brunch served by the Mission Trip Youth 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.
Þ NO Wednesday Worship or Confirmation Classes on March 28
Þ Maundy Thursday, March 29 • 6: 30 p.m. Worship with Holy Communion
Þ Good Friday, March 30 • 5:30 p.m. Worship
Þ NO WORSHIP on Saturday, March 31
Þ EASTER SUNDAY, April 1 • Worship with Holy Communion at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
March 2018 Newsletter + Pastor Bob Friese, Interim
Richard Rohr recently wrote in a devotion: It is hard for me to understand why some Christians are so threatened by the notion of evolution. Are they not observing reality? Why this stalwart attachment to inertness? Perhaps static things appear more controllable…I do recognize the human psyche’s need for stability, security, and superiority. These needs are so strong that they allow people to ignore or misinterpret what is visible all around them, and even to ignore their own obvious “growing up” and healing processes. Even our cuts and bruises heal themselves — by themselves.
To say that I want Christians to evolve does not mean I believe that humans developed from monkeys. It means that I desire the church to be constantly learning, maturing, and adapting in its work so the Good News of Jesus Christ stays front and center in all we do. Years ago, I might have sent a word of encouragement to a friend through the uplifting message of a greeting card. On several occasions I gave music cassettes of Christian bands and soloists to young people I was mentoring. But today – sometimes at 1 or 2 in the morning! – I have sent text messages and had long “instant messaging” conversations with people via my smart phone! That’s evolving! That’s using what’s best and most expedient to spread the Gospel and to build Christian community.
The Scriptures tell us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). That’s the Good News. But the way of spreading this Good News certainly has evolved. The stories of the Old Testament were spread by word of mouth for eons, until writing was further developed, and the quality of paper and ink improved. Many of Paul’s letters were not written to individuals, but to entire congregations in towns like Corinth, Galatia, and Philippi – but we don’t communicate that way anymore. Much later, in the 13th century, the printing press with movable type was invented, and that helped Martin Luther in mass-producing the New Testament in the German language.
As we evolve in our methods and techniques, its understandable that we grow nostalgic for the way things were. I have lovely memories of attending worship on Wednesday nights during Lent, going to 11 p.m. Good Friday services, and working like crazy at countless Easter morning breakfasts (which were so much fun, except they kept too many people out of worship on the most important day in the church calendar!). But if I believe – or demand – that the only way to experience Lent and Easter is the way I did in my youth, I’ll miss out on the good and evolving ways the church is “doing” Lent and Easter now. I’m not the same person I was – spiritually, emotionally, physically – and the Church is not the same either. And that’s okay.
It’s been said that tradition is the living faith of the dead, and that traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. So, lets acknowledge that God uses new people, new technology, new avenues of amazing complexity to spread the Gospel. God has done so since the dawn of time. And as Peace Lutheran continues to grow, evolve, and adapt, lets seek unity in Christ, not uniformity in our opinions. As Rohr said, while we all think the way things use to be was more stable, secure, and superior to how things are done now, that way of thinking causes us to close our eyes, hearts, and minds to what God is doing right here, right now at PLC.
During Lent we renew our commitment to growing in Christian faith and service. That may also require our letting go of some old, familiar things and making room for the new and untried. That means releasing our “stalwart attachment to inertness.” That mean trusting that the Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work at PLC.
When Jesus was raised on Easter morning, God was doing a new thing. No one before Jesus was ever able to definitively defeat sin and death. No one before Jesus was ever capable of reuniting all of humanity with God the Father. No one before Jesus said, “Follow me,” and then was taken back into God’s presence while others looked on. All this is old news to us. But we are called to trust that God can use new, evolving, emerging ways to spread this old, old story. The new ways of the church may be confusing, but God’s love is still amazing.
With new things at our fingertips, and this good, old news on our lips, let us sing:
Oh, the Wonderful Cross! Oh, the Wonderful Cross!
Love, so amazing, so Divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
Blessed Easter to you and yours,
Pastor Bob Friese, Interim
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