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Good Friday (Year ABC)

Good Friday stands at the heart and center of the Holy Triduum (the “Great Three Days”) even as Christ’s death on the cross stands at the heart and center of the Christian faith and life. Tonight’s service is marked by the Church’s deepest humility and most solemn reverence, for she gives her attention to the cross and Passion of her dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her sorrow and contrition do not give way to despair, however; nor does she mourn the death of Christ. Rather, in repentant faith, the Church gives thanks for Christ’s atoning sacrifice and lays hold of His redemption in the hearing of His Gospel.

The “Order of Tenebrae” is an early Christian order of worship traditionally utilized in the observance of Good Friday. Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “in the shadows,” and the service is characterized by the gradual removal of light from the sanctuary as the scriptural accounts approach the moment of the death of our Lord. As the last candle is extinguished and the Paschal Candle removed, noting the death of the Savior, a loud sound will be heard. This represents that point in human history when the tomb was closed. Following the silent prayer at the close of the service, we depart in silence as we retire to our homes in contemplation of the meaning of Christ’s death for us and in the certain hope of the Easter victory soon to be celebrated.

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Holy (Maundy) Thursday (Year ABC)

With nightfall our Lenten observance comes to an end, and we gather with Christians around the world to celebrate the Triduum, or the “Three Days” of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Holy (Maundy) Thursday is a day of remembrance, as we heed Jesus’ command, or mandate, to “do this”—that is, celebrate the holy meal of His body and blood—“in remembrance of Me.” At the end of the service, the depth of Christ’s servanthood is demonstrated as the chancel is reverently stripped in preparation for the Church’s observance of Jesus’ death on Good Friday. Today we begin our journey through the three days of Christ’s Passover from death to life and from captivity to freedom.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Palm Sunday (Year ABC)

God had promised His people that He would send them a king in the line of David to rule them and save them. Jesus, Son of David, is the fulfillment of this great prophecy, the king who will enter His heir's city in triumph.

But this grand entrance is tempered by humility. Jesus rides “sitting on a donkey's colt” instead of a great war horse. He comes not to be lifted up onto a throne of power, but to be lifted up in glory on the cross. The power of God is love, which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners.

God the Father “highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name,” that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His cross. The Church is thus called to “rejoice greatly.” The king comes with salvation, and “He shall speak peace to the nations.

Pastor Nettleton's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Fifth Sunday in Lent (Year A)

As He called Lazarus from the tomb and commanded others to “unbind him, and let him go,” Jesus calls us and releases us from the bondage of sin and death. He condemned sin in His own flesh for us. Now, through the Gospel, “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead” dwells in us. His Word breathes His Spirit into our mortal flesh, animating us with His own life. In the word the Lord Jesus calls us from the grave into the good land that He gives us.

Pastor Nettleton’s message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year A)

The Lord is grieved by the spiritual blindness of His people, yet in mercy He keeps His peace until He opens their ears and eyes to hear and see Him. Jesus turns the darkness into light because He is the light of the world. By the washing of water with His Word, He opens the eyes of the blind and grants rest to the weary. Therefore, though you were once in darkness, now “you are light in the Lord.” We live in the eternal day of His resurrection, ever heeding the Gospel call: “awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead.

Pastor Funke's message (mp3)

Download the bulletin (pdf)

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