Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday!
Today begins the highest holy days of the Christian church. (And no, it’s not Christmas!) We lead up to Easter on April 16 with a rollercoaster of drama and emotion.
We’ll start by raising up palm branches at both worship services today – 8:30 and 11 a.m. Gather with us in the Atrium (the main entrance to our building) about 10 minutes ahead of worship. Pick up a palm branch and a song book. We’ll walk together into the church singing to beautiful, triumphal music, parade around the Sanctuary for a minute, then continue with our worship.
A procession on Palm Sunday traditionally starts Holy Week. It helps us remember what Jesus went through in those final days of his ministry. This part of the Jesus story starts gloriously! He has been preaching for about three years, mostly in the countryside. Now, Jesus heads to the capital of Palestine – Jerusalem!
“The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’” – Matthew 21:9
The crowd goes wild! As Jesus heads into Jerusalem, riding a borrowed donkey colt, pilgrims lay down palm branches before him and recite a praise from the Psalms. It’s a heady start to a few days of glory. Jesus pitches a fit of righteous anger in the Temple: He drives out the racketeers selling animals for the required sacrifices and changing money for the Jews coming to the Temple from foreign lands. He preaches, he teaches, and people “are spellbound,” the Bible tells us.
Holy terror, Easter joy
But the story soon turns dark. Jesus will hold one last supper with his friends, wash their feet in a symbol of service and give them what we now call “Holy Communion.” (We celebrate this as Maundy Thursday.) Then, he will be betrayed, arrested, tortured, tried and executed in the most cruel and painful way imaginable – crucifixion.
The drama of Holy Week culminates in the joy of Easter. (Phew!) So we invite you to start the party with us, today, and continue the excitement and amazement of God’s lavish love, poured out in his Son, Jesus! (Plus, since we’re Lutheran, we’ll have baked treats and coffee after each service!)
Today’s Bible readings: Isaiah50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; John 11:1-45Matthew 26:14 thru 27:66. Read them here.
The Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van preaches today.
Happening at PEACE
- Lenten Soup Suppers – Eat a simple soup dinner with us at 6 p.m. every Thursday through April 13 (The Last Supper, also called Maundy Thursday) . Then, at 7 p.m., we’ll all head over to the Sanctuary for a short but moving Lenten Worship Service. Our homemade soups are yummy! Read more about Lent here.
- Contemplative Prayer – 12:30 p.m. Mondays in the Library (Room 2 in the Education Wing). Experience deep peace and connection to the Divine in this 30-minute period of silence. Hear the “still, small voice” – really! Conducted by Pastor Eileen.
- Easter & Holy Week – Read more about them here.
- Easter Egg Hunt – 12:20 p.m. Easter Sunday, April 16. Meet in the Fellowship Center, then come downstairs to the Youth Room. Bring a friend!
- Women’s Retreat – 9am-2pm Saturday, April 29 at Buttermaker’s Cottage, Penn Valley. Our theme is “Prayer,” presented by Pastor Virginia Ward. Cost is $20 and includes a box lunch. Sign up in the Atrium.
- Coming Up – Learn more about events at PEACE here.
Adult Bible Study
The Adult Forum meets in the Old Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. Pastor Eileen leads. Stop in the Fellowship Center around the corner to pick up coffee & baked goods!
Bring your questions, doubts and challenges to God, the Bible and the Church – they are welcome here!
Meet at 9:45 a.m. in the Youth Room downstairs. Young people of all ages are welcome!
Youth @ PEACE is our all-ages Bible study, where young disciples learn the core stories of our faith and what it means to walk the Jesus Path. This spring, we are learning about the ministry of Jesus and how we can apply His words to our lives (yes, it’s possible!!). We welcome all who yearn to learn more about our loving, gracious Creator!
Bible memory verses: Kids can earn Bible Bucks for verses they memorize and redeem them for cool prizes! Our goal is for young people to bring God’s word deep into their hearts, supporting a lifetime of faith.
Toddler Time – God welcomes even the tiniest of disciples. Toddler Time is for all children from babies to 4 years old. Parents are welcome to stay and participate, or leave their little ones and attend Adult Forum. We start out with music in our all-ages Sunday School opening at 9:45 a.m., downstairs in the Youth Room. Then, parents and tots head upstairs to the Nursery. Our 45-minute “Frolic” curriculum is fun for children and parents. Call Youth & Outreach Coordinator Trina Kleist at (530) 575-6132 to learn more.