Jean-François Millet’s 1865 work, “The Sower”

Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. -Psalm 126:5-6

“Why do we go through this yearly sorrow and lament‽ We know that Jesus Christ ‘now lives no more to die,’ so why on earth does the church go through ritual sorrow‽”

Maybe it wasn’t in those words exactly, but you have probably heard people grumble about the sorrow and grief that accompanies the days leading up to Holy Week, and then there is that grief we experience from late Maundy Thursday night through Saturday. Why has the Church created this annual ritual that is so unhappy? It is particularly striking because we know that we are going to celebrate Jesus’s victory over Sin, Death, and the Devil on the forthcoming Sunday.

Well, we do this annual lament to remember the cost of our salvation. It was the necessary sowing of grief that allowed God to have the harvest of joy that is the resurrection. While, yes, keeping the sadness in mind makes the joy much greater, that is not the only reason to keep it in mind. The great inversion our Lord did in using death to bring life through the cross and tomb needed death. In order to have a resurrection, the person being resurrected needs to be dead (otherwise, it just isn’t as impressive).

As we approach the Great and Holy Week, especially the Great Three Days, make it your intention to go to the worship services. This Sunday is the fifth Sunday in Lent and our last midweek service will be on Thursday April 11 at 6PM (supper to follow). Palm and Passion Sunday will be April 14. Then at our building we have 7PM services times on Maundy Thursday (April 18), Good Friday (April 19), and Easter Vigil (April 20). Easter Sunrise is 6:30AM at Jo Hays Vista and our Easter Sunday service of worship will be at 10:45AM.

God continue to be with you,
Yours in Christ, Pastor Paul+