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Walking the Way of Christ in Community

by The Rev Beth Knowlton on April 05, 2023

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
—from Hebrews 12:1-3; appointed for Wednesday in Holy Week

I was texting with the Rev. Matt Wise earlier in the week. He sent me the filming schedule from 2020 when we were desperately trying to figure out how to do Holy Week without people. He noted his PTSD every time he sees this document. I returned that image with three pictures of us alone on camera for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and the Vigil, which my phone likes to taunt me with each year as a memory. While I don’t enjoy re-experiencing that year (or the next), it does fill me with renewed gratitude for our ability to be together this year for these Holy Week liturgies.

This past Sunday felt so joyful as we gathered in Travis Park, donkey and bagpipes in place. The Hosannas made the turn once we were inside and became the assembly calling for the death of Jesus. 

This Wednesday in Holy Week, we are called to remember the great cloud of witnesses that we also walk, sing, pray, and work alongside of in our faith journey. These powerful liturgies of the Triduum—Maundy Thursday through Easter Day—are meant to be a walk we take with one another and all those who have gone before. The words are timeless, and the rhythms are grounding. The reminder about those who have come before sets our own struggles in the context of the fullness of human history. It helps us make the turn towards real hope and joy.

Come and gather this week and be reminded of the great promise we have in the Resurrection. It is the source of our joy and our hope.

I am grateful for so many who make these services possible. The faithful witness of our staff and many volunteers, from the choirs, to the Altar Guild, to the ushers, to the greeters, to the readers and Eucharistic ministers, just to name a few. Make time to worship and gather. I promise if you enter fully into these days, your Alleluias on Easter Day will be even more filled with the promise of new life.

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