The next three day are the great three days.
I often write this email to you with an invitation for you to consider coming to something or participating in something. For what I write in this email, I simply don’t have words powerful enough to express my encouragement that you do everything you can to make these three events a priority for you.
You may know that one of my core convictions is that only spiritually rigorous churches will thrive in our increasingly secular age. One mark of spiritual rigor is faithfully following the full arc of the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Master and Friend, through these three services.
So, please set aside time over the next three days for the following:
• Maundy Thursday Eucharist 7:30pm. Foot-washing, instituting the eucharist and the stripping of the altar.
• Good Friday 12:00pm. Jesus dies on the cross.
• Easter Vigil 7:30pm. A synopsis of the sacred story, baptisms and a joyful surprise as we declare the resurrection for the first time.
It always saddens me that more of you don’t experience the fullness of all three of these services. I often wonder why. Perhaps it doesn’t seem worth getting out of your ordinary habit to give something new a try. But even deeper, I wonder if both suffering and solemnity are just plain difficult for us. The truth of it is that in these three services we will be walking together through some sad and lonely places, where we are experiencing together the consequences of violence and sin. And who wants to do that voluntarily?
Yet, the truth of our story is that there is no resurrection without the cross. (And it’s also true that there is no cross without resurrection!)
What I promise you, with all that I am, is that your joy by Sunday will be immeasurably greater if you walk the way of abandonment and death with Jesus first. Allow your heart to be weighed down with his sorrow before your heart leaps with joy at his resurrection.
Don’t give yourself diluted Christianity. Walk alongside us on these three most important days of the Christian year. I want full joy for you!
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