Holy Week and Easter

Palm Sunday and Easter

Sunday at 10:30 AM

At Eastertime we are surrounded by colorful, joy-filled images of spring, bunnies and chicks, eggs and flowers.  What is missing is the reason for all this joy.  Holy Week is, well, holy.  It includes some of the most hallowed days of the church year.  It traces a path from the enthusiastic reception of Jesus as he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey through a quiet dinner in the upper room and prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to Jesus’ arrest, mistreatment, and death at the hands of the Romans before Easter finally arrives and once again we celebrate resurrection and new life.

 At Skyland Church we will commemorate and celebrate these events with services on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter.  As our spirits soar on Easter morning, we will worship together in the sanctuary with music and song, sacred readings, a homily, and prayer.  Children will have a special Easter morning message in the service followed by an art project in Whitaker Hall and an Easter egg hunt right after the service ends.  Easter Tea with lots of Easter goodies for all will follow in Whitaker Hall.

 All are welcome at Skyland Church, and we hope you will join us as we celebrate.

            March 24

               Palm Sunday

 

March 28

Maundy Thursday Simple Soup Supper and Service

Whitaker Hall at 5:30 PM

March 31

Easter

Service at 10:30 AM

 

Join us for the Children’s Art and Music Program,

the Easter Egg Hunt and the Easter Tea Reception.

Bring your family and celebrate Easter!

Spiritual Practices for Easter

Holy Week and Easter bring the widest swings of emotion of the church year.  We go from triumph and joy as Jesus rides into Jerusalem to the shouts of jubilant crowds to the quiet of his final meal with his friends to arrest, torture, crucifixion and death at the hands of the Romans to the immense joy of resurrection and new life all in one week.

Our society resists the low points in this story–the pain, the humiliation, death–and wants to skip all that and go right to Easter, focus on joy and avoid sorrow.  But life isn’t like that.  We all have highs and lows, and the roller coaster ride that is Holy Week has the power to remind us when we are down that new life will come.

Here are some spiritual practices that will feed us through the ups and downs as Easter comes, as signs of spring erupt all around us:

Seek beauty in nature: Look for signs of new life–trees budding, flowers emerging, green arising from the browns of winter.  Listen for the sounds of baby animals–coyote pups crying for their mamas, nestling birds calling for their next feeding. Smell the flowers as they bloom and the grasses at they are cut for the first time.

Be in the moment: Let go of what is past and what is future for a few minutes and revel in what is right now.  You might do this through meditation or prayer or simply being present with intention.

Practice gratitude: Being grateful for what you have, for what you have been given, for the people who fill your life with joy is a form of resurrection.  It brings new life to you and to anyone for whom you are grateful.

Practice forgiveness: There is so much hurt in the world, but holding onto the hurt is often more harmful than the original hurt. Forgiveness is not forgetting but rather letting go of the power that the hurt has over you.  Forgive the person, the other or yourself, and gain new life by freeing yourself from the harm. (This does not mean allowing someone to harm you again.  You can forgive someone but keep them at a distance if your physical or emotional safety requires it.)

An Easter Prayer

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing.

And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power.

And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
Lying dormant in our hearts.

And give us ears to hear, dear God
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than man’s often empty words.

Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair
‘Be like us and do not worry
for God has you in his care.’

Helen Steiner Rice

 

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