This April we go through the part of the Church Year that makes all the difference when it comes to God raising us up from our graves to give us eternal life. The verse above comes from the Old Testament reading from April 2, the 5th Sunday in Lent. This prophecy would ultimately be fulfilled for us because of all that Jesus would accomplish in the events we remember during these first weeks of April.
The last Midweek Lent Service, on April 5, will carry the theme,
“Declaration,” and will include a dialog with the Apostle, John. Service is at 7PM. Supper is at 6PM.
The most important week of the Church Year, Holy Week, begins on Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday. The Service on Palm Sunday this year will begin in the Fellowship Hall. Every member of the congregation will receive a palm branch as we will reenact the Palm Sunday triumphal entry. The Palm Sunday Gospel will be read in the Fellowship Hall. Then the hand bells followed by the processional crucifix will lead the congregation into the sanctuary where we will sing the first hymn. Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday. At the time of the reading of the Gospel during the Service, the entire Passion Account from St. Matthew’s Gospel will be read as we reflect upon all that Jesus suffered for us during the first Passion Week to accomplish eternal life for us.
At the Maundy Thursday Service, April 13, at 7PM, we reflect on the Lord’s Last Supper with His disciples. As we receive the meal Jesus instituted that night with His disciples, we eat and drink in remembrance of Him, for the forgiveness of our sins, and for the life and salvation that comes with that forgiveness. At the end of the service the Altar will be stripped in preparation for Good Friday when Jesus gave the Sacrifice of His life on the Altar of the cross for the salvation of the world.
Good Friday, April 14th, will have two service. The first service will be at noon as we reflect upon the Words of Jesus from the cross. The second service is a Tenebrae Service at 7PM. This Service will be a very special opportunity to reflect upon Christ and Calvary as the message of Good Friday will be proclaimed through the Choir Cantata, “We Remember Calvary”. Congregation will also have opportunity to sing some of the hymns with the choir. It should be a very moving service as we express our gratitude to the Lord for all He has done for us.
Easter completes our salvation. We begin Easter morning with Easter breakfast at 8:45AM which will include an Easter egg hunt for the kids. The service will begin in relative darkness as we reflect some on the events of Good Friday. Then Light will burst on the scene as the Light of Life has risen from the dead to make it certain that His Sacrifice on Good Friday has purchased and won our redemption and to make it certain that we too will rise from the dead as God will open our graves on the Last Day and we shall live. The processional cross will no longer hold the body of Jesus as death could not hold Him. He is risen.
The Sunday's that follow Easter are the Sundays of Easter. On Sunday, April 23rd, the celebration of life continues with the resurrection account from St. Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10. On Sunday, April 30th, we get to revisit Jesus’ Easter appearance to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, from Luke 24:13-35, where Jesus showed Himself to be the One who had redeemed Israel (God’s people).
This April holds a lot for us to receive from our Lord working through His Word and Sacrament as He keeps us in the faith that gives us everlasting life. See ya in church.