It is hard to believe that this coming week is Holy Week. I wonder how we will refer to Holy Week 2020 in the future. Easter 1999 was the “Easter that it snowed.” This will be “the Easter nobody came to church.”
That being said, I want to strongly encourage you to make your Holy Week journey complete. This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and so I invite you to join me at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live for a brief service and message. On Maundy Thursday I will record a Maundy Thursday Service, and Good Friday Tenebrae service. Easter will again be a Facebook Live video service and message.
We are in a “fast from Holy Communion.” As we believe and teach the Sacrament of Holy Communion is to be shared in community, in the presence of the Risen Lord Jesus. While we are separated in our homes we will await with great hope when the Body of Christ can gather again to share in the celebration of Holy Communion. There are a few pastors who are encouraging “virtual communion” for their members. People are encouraged to have bread, or some other food (pretzel, cupcake, tortilla) and wine or other drink (coffee, tea, Gatorade). People are then to “remember that Jesus took bread, took the cup.” This “remembrance” is not in compliance with the Church’s theology of “Real Presence”. In the mystery of Holy Communion, Christ Jesus is in/under/through the bread and wine consecrated by the ordained, shared in community. Those matters make virtual communion mute. We are in a “fast from Holy Communion.” We look forward to the day when we can gather again to “break the fast” and share in the Sacrament with the community of faith at New Spirit.
Tomorrow, I will publish a series of Gospel texts for you to read with your family as the events of Holy Week arise.
This will be “the Easter when nobody went to Church.” We do not assemble to protect those who are at risk of contracting this deadly virus. Prayers for those afflicted, and those families who grieve the death of loved ones.
Beyond this pandemic, God is mighty, God is merciful, and God is gentle in giving grace and peace to us.
May you experience blessings during this Holy Week in isolation.
Peace be yours this day,