A Letter from our Deacons

A Letter from our Deacons

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Anno Domini 2020

Dear members and friends,

Greetings in the name of Jesus who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its

Holy Week, also called the Great Week, will soon be here again. Scripture describes the events of this great week in the history of mankind as follows.

“From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” (Matthew 16:21 KJV)

Holy Week, commemorates the events and sorrows in the life of the “Man of Sorrows” during His final days in Jerusalem concluding with His crucifixion and burial. Christians
from the earliest of times commemorated these events with a great festival week. Though His sorrows were great, the mood of each day is festive. Traditionally services are held each day of the Festival. Each day of this week has been appointed as a major festival. We put off the fast days of Lent and pick up the festive days of the Passion centered on the reading of the Passion History.

The Passion history recounts the betrayal, arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus according to the four Gospels. How can such sorrowful events be festive? How can we find a basis for rejoicing in such things as these? We rejoice because this is the will of Him who suffered. Jesus teaches us that it could not be otherwise; that “…he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things.” This was the will of God from the foundation of the world. Jesus faithfully carried out the will of the Father. Recall His words in the garden. When facing these things He prayed, “…Father not my will, but Thine be done.” His willingness to suffer is wonderful; love and joy led Him through it. It was “…for the joy that was set before him (he) endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2)

The joy set before Him was our salvation. He suffered that we may live. The work of securing for us the forgiveness of sins filled Him with joy. Such is His love. Yes, on account of His joy in suffering the cross, the season must be festive. Anything less than marking these events with a festive spirit would be a show of ingratitude.

The Great Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Holy Saturday. This year Palm Sunday begins the week on April 5th and the festival continues through Holy Saturday April 11th.

Festive weekday services will be held at St. James Monday of Holy Week through Good Friday, Saturday being unavailable at the Grange. A portion of The Passion History as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John will be read in each service. Following the Service of the Word, the Service of Holy Communion will be offered to those desiring the Sacrament. We meet each day at 7:00 PM.

What greater service and honor can we give to our Savior Jesus Christ than to join together each day in His presence to commemorate His suffering and passion. Gathered around His Word and Sacrament we are refreshed in the wonder and joy of the great gift He earned for us by His Passion. Thereby we share in His joy and are well prepared for the festival of His resurrection.

God’s richest blessings,

St. James board of Deacons.

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