Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Salem, Wisconsin

March 31, 2021

I’ve got a few invitations for you, so please read on. But first…

We are here. On the very edge, on the cusp of the very center of our faith as disciples of Jesus. The “Triduum” is in front of us, and beckons…beckons us to finish the journey!

The “Triduum” is “the three days.” In the ancient world the day began at sunset. The “Triduum” runs us from sunset on Thursday (Maundy Thursday) through sunset on Sunday (Easter). And what a run it is!

Maundy Thursday – washing of feet, the gift of Holy Communion, intense prayer in the garden, betrayal, then denial, and the beginning of the trial of Jesus.

Good Friday – the trial continues, then evolves into mockery and even torture. Finally, we arrive at the cross, where the Savior of the world takes upon himself the brokenness, failure, and sinfulness of all humanity, and in exchange gifts us with a new and right relationship with God.

Holy Saturday – all is quiet, almost eerie, as if the world is waiting, waiting for something to happen.

Easter Sunday – IT HAPPENS – the unthinkable, the unimaginable. Death is death, it is irreversible, and along with taxes, it is guaranteed! Yet, there it is – life where there should be none, leading to hope where there had been despair, and a future where all seemed to be ended. Jesus triumphs over all that drags us down, all that overpowers us, all that saps life from us. Jesus, the one crucified, now the one risen. Jesus, the source of life, and now the source of new life!

In a broken, fearful, confused, chaotic, and messed up world, what more could we ask? This is what we need – this year more than ever!

So, my first invitation – ponder the “Triduum” and what it means to you and all of creation this year. Do not pretend that our challenges, hurts and pains, fears and unknowns, and yes, our sins, aren’t there, right in front of us. Be bold, and confront our human failure. But do that in the shadow of the cross, and in the encounter with the risen Jesus.

And then – my second invitation – move forward as a new creation, knowing that no matter where the days ahead lead us, we are renewed and restored by what God has done for us in Jesus!

And finally, I invite you to take the time during the “Triduum” to join us in worship, as we hear the story, reflect on God’s work in Jesus, and rejoice in the new life we have through the crucified and risen Christ:

MAUNDY THURSDAY – We “Zoom” at 7 PM. Holy Communion (make sure you have bread and wine/juice), and the stripping of the altar. The link is on the home page of our web site, or go to zoom.us – use meeting ID 878 7702 0172 and passcode 169879. And if you can’t make it, the service will be recorded and posted on the web site video page later on Thursday evening.

GOOD FRIDAY – prerecorded YouTube video posted late afternoon – the Service of Tenebrae – we hear the story of the passion as we slowly move from light to darkness.

EASTER SUNDAY – two worship opportunities – a prerecorded YouTube video will be posted by 9 AM on Easter to our home page.

OR…join us at the Lion’s Shelter at 10 AM – Wear masks and dress for the weather. Bring your own seating, and sit as families safely distanced We’ll celebrate Holy Communion (bring your own bread and wine/juice or use prepackaged cups that we have available).

OR…join the 10 AM service via Zoom. The link is on the home page of the web site, or go to zoom.us – use meeting ID 876 5790 5918 and passcode 016816.

Yes, the times are tough – it’s been a long and weary year, and the pandemic is still not done. There is more to go. But we are not in this by ourselves. So take the time in the next days as the “Triduum” unfolds to hear the story, to reflect on the death, and to revel in the resurrection. Take the time to be renewed and restored through the crucified and risen Jesus!

OUR SAVIOR’S LUTHERAN CHURCH

359 N. Leonard
West Salem, WI 54669
Phone: 608.786.0030

ELCA

 

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...

Romans 10:9

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.