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This Week at JMPC 4.12.2020

Holy Week has a new meaning for me during this COVID-19 pandemic. While I do not think that COVID-19 is some sort of judgment from God, I do believe that it provides an illustration of why we need hope in what, at times, seems to be a hopeless world. Jesus is our hope. But we are like his followers as he entered Jerusalem. We want Jesus to do things our way. To work a bit of magic and make all this virus go away. To demonstrate his ultimate power over the world and make it the way we want it to be. But Jesus does not work that way. Jesus did not become King, and Jesus does not magically make our lives just the way we want them. What Jesus does is make a promise. That he knows what we know. Feels what we feel. And walks with us through the darkest valleys and the highest mountains. This week, we try to understand that.

Like most churches, we at John McMillan Presbyterian Church traditionally experiences Holy Week in many ways. I say “experience” because we try to put ourselves in the shoes of those who were there with Jesus as he traveled to the cross – and then returned alive.

We start our Easter journey on Thursday evening at 7:30 with our Tenebrae Service. A service of “shadows”. The world gets dark as the disciples have their last Passover with Jesus. Someone betrays, others sleep, they all run away in the end. We listen to the story of Jesus’ last 24 hours with scripture readings and reverential music. It all ends in darkness and silence.

Next, we gather at noon on Good Friday for a vigil where we hear the story of the crucifixion and try to understand what it has to do with us.

Saturday is silent, as we, like the disciples, are … well … speechless.

Then! Then! It is Resurrection Day! We gather at 9:30 for a worship service and celebratory that same old story. The one that we never get tired of. Jesus Christ is risen today. He is risen indeed.

But of course, this year we will do all these things online – Facebook Live. Tune in with us here at John McMillan Presbyterian Church as we walk with Jesus from death to life. We will look forward to virtually being with you.

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