So how’s your Holy Week going?
I was reminded by Alex Kaprian, a fellow downtown pastor at the Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church just down the street from us on Second Avenue, that today is “Terrible Thursday.” You won’t find many American churches observing it but apparently the Slavic churches do. “Terrible Thursday” is the day we recognize as the anniversary of Jesus celebrating the Passover in the Upper Room with his Apostles, walking to the Garden of Gethsemane, travailing in prayer there (for us, by the way), being betrayed, arrested, abandoned by his closest friends and starting that long, gruesome “Good Friday” journey to the cross.
Over the next 72 hours, Christians around the world will engage in some of the most meaningful and profound spiritual practices, experiences and worship. I challenge you to join them. You can make the next 72 hours in your life the most meaningful, rich and God-engaging hours of the entire year. But it will probably mean you must make a few changes…a few “sacrifices.”
How about starting this very evening, this “Terrible Thursday,” by cutting out the noise, the electronics, the entertainments that so often fill our lives so you can prepare your heart for the next few days? Go to the end of any (or all) of the Gospels and read through their accounts of what Jesus did over the next 24 hours before he died. (See John 13-19; Luke 22-23; Mark 14-15; Matthew 26-27.) Spend a little time just soaking in that Terrible Thursday before you get to Good Friday.
Then tomorrow, Good Friday, consider rearranging your day a bit to make room for encountering God in some out-of-the-ordinary way.
If you can, take off from work a couple of hours early and join us at 3:00 p.m. for The Stations of the Cross downtown. We’ll start at Riverfront Park fountain and walk to the following stations:
- Welcome and Opening Prayer (3:00 p.m.) – Rotary Fountain, Riverfront Park
- Station 1 (Jesus is condemned) – Federal Court House
- Station 2 (Jesus takes up his cross) – “Occupy” Triangle (in front of the Spokane Club)
- Station 3 (Jesus meets his mother) – Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church on Riverside
- Station 4 (Jesus falls I) – STA Bus Transit Center
- Station 5 (Cross is laid on Simon) – City Gate on 2nd and Madison
- Station 6 (A woman wipes Jesus’ face) – Cup of Cool Water (same block)
- Station 7 (Jesus falls II) – Our Club (same building)
- Station 8 (Meets women of Jerusalem) – Women’s Hearth (920 W. 2nd)
- Station 9 (Jesus falls III) – Carlyle Care Center (2nd & Post)
- Station 10 (Jesus is nailed to the cross) – Veteran’s Affairs Center/SNAP (kitty corner from Mosaic)
- Station 11(Jesus is stripped of his garments) – Mosaic Fellowship
- Station 12 (Jesus dies) – VOA Crosswalk Youth Center
- Station 13 (Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother) – Shalom Ministries (Central United Methodist Church)
- Station 14 (Jesus is laid in the tomb)–Under the freeway, 4th and Howard (across from Lewis & Clark High School)
Wear your walking shoes as we’ll cover about 2 miles in the course of the 2 hours. What a wonderful way to enter into the most important event in human history!
Then Friday Evening at 7:00 p.m., consider joining together with God’s family for an hour of reflection, music, video, prayer, repentance, communion and teaching as we seek to let the greatest act of love and sacrifice in human history penetrate our hearts and change us.
Saturday would be a good day to take a Sabbath rest. Since our Lord’s body lay in the cold tomb, wrapped in grave clothes and awaiting the resurrection that Sabbath day long ago, why not make this Saturday a true rest day for your body, soul and spirit. Make it truly different by avoiding any real work, taking a walk with God, listening to the people around you, reflecting on some of the Scriptures mentioned above. God may want to surprise you with His quiet, renewing presence in some ways you haven’t experienced for a while.
Note to the women: You can enjoy additional fellowship with the Women of Mosaic at the Women’s Connection Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. The “Spa Experience” has been postponed but the breakfast fellowship hasn’t.
Then Easter Sunday, join in the celebration of “Life On the Other Side of the Cross” as we gather together at 9:15 or 11:00 to enjoy the resurrection life God longs to pour out on His church.
Terrible Thursday…Good Friday…Sabbath Saturday…and Resurrection Sunday. Welcome to a memorable weekend with Christ!