This week, the center of the church’s year, is one of striking contrasts: Jesus rides into Jerusalem surrounded by shouts of glory, only to be left alone to die on the cross, abandoned by even his closest friends. Mark’s gospel presents Jesus in his complete human vulnerability: agitated, grieved, scared, forsaken. Though we lament Christ’s suffering and all human suffering, we also expect God’s salvation: in the wine and bread, Jesus promises that his death will mark a new covenant with all people. We enter this holy week thirsty for the completion of God’s astonishing work.
Please have some bread and “fruit of the vine” available for Holy Communion. And – please stay for the postlude – it is well worth it!
“This Sunday God promises Jeremiah that a “new covenant” (the fifth one from the Old Testament) will be made in the future: a covenant that will allow ALL the people to know God by heart. The church sees this promise fulfilled in Christ, who draws ALL people to himself when he is lifted up on the cross. Our baptismal covenant draws us to God’s heart through Christ and draws God’s love and truth into our hearts. We join together in worship, sharing in word, song, and meal, and leave strengthened to share God’s love with all the world.”
Please have some bread and “fruit of the vine” available for Holy Communion as you join in our virtual worship (above).
This Sunday the fourth of the Old Testament promises provides a baptismal lens this Lent; this is the promise God makes to Moses, that those who look on the bronze serpent will live. In today’s gospel Jesus says he will be lifted up on the cross like the serpent, so that those who look to him in faith will live. When we receive the sign of the cross in baptism, that cross becomes the sign we can look to in faith for healing, for restored relationship to God and each other, and for hope when we are dying.