To learn more about Faith Lutheran Church in Gardner, MA. Check out our history, or our calendar.
Worship at 9:00am and 11: 00 am
Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday is sometimes to as “Passion Sunday,” marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.
The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross.
On Maundy Thursday Jesus’ actions reveal how important it is for us to live lives of servanthood. While the plot against him begins to unfold, Jesus has a meal with his disciples and afterwards washes their feet. His washing of his disciples’ feet is an enactment of his witness to the dominion of God: the first will be last and the lowly will be lifted up; whoever loves their life will lose it. Washed by Jesus in our baptisms, we too are blessed with and challenged by God’s love in Christ and the command to share that sacrificial love with the whole world.
Worship at 7:00pm
On Good Friday we experience the pain of the cross. As the church tells our story, we typically don’t end with the cross. However, it was on the cross that Jesus died for our sins; it was on the cross that Jesus said “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do”; it was on the cross that Jesus gave his final breath and was revealed as the son of God. Jesus showed us first-hand God’s love for us. It is on the cross that God’s power is revealed and sin, and death is defeated.
Worship at 7:00 pm
In the darkness of Jesus’ death, Christians gather to keep vigil and await the dawn—to pray, sing, and remind one another of God’s promises and salvation. All are appropriate ways to travel the way from darkness to light, from uncertainty to joy, from death to life. The Vigil of Easter expansively reflects many of life’s dramatic journeys by making room for a variety of senses and emotions. The Old Testament stories appointed for the Vigil are powerful companions for the journey.
The Vigil journey is shaped by stories, but words are not the focus; rather, the worship offers experiences and images of the word along the way. Recurring in this journey are the elements of fire, water, earth, and air. Like the people of Israel escaping Egypt, we follow a pillar of fire, in the form of the paschal candle. In baptism, we “come to the waters,” as we encounter stories of the flood and the Red Sea. We hear how earth is created and enlivened and renewed by the breath of God’s Spirit. The Vigil celebrates the baptismal journey by making room for all the elements and emotions of life, and it calls us into a community that can make that journey together as it trusts in the promise of God’s saving grace.
Easter Sunday -April 16th
Worship at 9:00am and 11:00 am
Mark’s gospel ends awkwardly at 16:8. The women are astonished and afraid, and Mark’s ending hits just the right note—especially for those who aren’t sure about resurrection themselves, or whose own lives are in an awkward, unresolved limbo.
In Mark’s version, all we have to depend on are Jesus’ earlier words, the realization that the women must have shared their experience eventually, and the intriguing possibility of the empty tomb. Somehow the women’s fear must have eventually become courage, but Mark leaves it up to his readers to wonder how.
As we too are still in the middle of our life stories, Mark’s gospel is a good companion. Most of the time we live with an awkward, unresolved mix of fears and possibilities, in which resurrection is hinted at rather than completed. This is true for the church as well; this story may appear to be the end, but it’s really just the middle. The story of the risen Jesus continues in the mission of the church, Christ’s body. The possibility of resurrection draws us into a community that lives out the middle of its story in the hope and witness of Christ’s new life.
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