Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,
Holy Week: We are quickly approaching Holy Week, and we will enter that with Palm Sunday this Sunday - we'll cover Matthew 21:1-11. After that we will observe Maundy Thursday with a Seder dinner, we will have a good Friday Service, and then we will observe the resurrection with our Easter Service. Here is the challenge I want to lay out for you as we approach these special days, though St. Paul reminds us that there is no day more or less special than another in Romans 14:3-7, we do set these days aside for a reason. You have all heard me say, the reason for Advent, Epiphany, Lent, and now, for Holy Week, is to assist us in remembering rightly what God has done and said, and live expectantly into what God is doing and will do. These times invite us to slow down, pause, and reflect, which informs the way we live. In other words, we don't observe Easter because tradition tells us to, we do it because Easter reminds us of what the Divine did through Jesus AND because it invites us to live the resurrection here and now. So, my hope for this coming Palm Sunday is not that we just recount the story, but we recognize what our palm branches are.
Parables: In observation of Holy Week, we will hit the pause button on the parables for the next two weeks. The last two weeks we have looked into parables of forgiveness. These parables have helped us look at two sides of forgiveness.
- Matthew 18:23-35 - The main idea in this text had to do with allowing Jesus' forgiveness gifted to us is to be our motive and model for forgiveness to the other rather than the offense of the other.
- Luke 7:36-50 - The way we love and see the other is directly related to the recognition of our own sin and our acceptance of God's love. When we accept love and recognize our sin even when it is more socially and culturally acceptable, we see people as individuals rather than categories and issues to be solved.
The week after Easter we will resume the parables. We will probably stick with them till the Summer schedule begins.
Have a great weekend!
Matthew and Sarah