“I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears…
Taste and see that the Lord is good
Happy are those who take refuge in Him”
(Psalm 34:4, 8)
It’s been three weeks now. Our anxiety and fear run high. A virus controls our lives and affects all we do. Social distancing has been an integral part of lives during these troublesome days. Health officials explain it is necessary and basic— to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay at least 6 feet apart, and if you feel sick, stay in. Our stay-at-home restrictions are currently enforced and now comes the holiest time of the year for the Christian faith. But in the words of the psalmist, God’s love delivers us from our fears. The opportunity to “gather” does exist through our virtual worship we continue to share during these trying times. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. I hope you will join us as we walk the path Jesus walked, beginning with the triumphant entry to Jerusalem and following the way that leads to our Lord’s passion, ending at the Cross of Good Friday. Check out the remaining schedule for schedule for the week, including the worship for Maundy Thursday and the music of Good Friday.
On Maundy Thursday, April 9, we are excited to present a very special service of story and music, “Were You There?” As a part of worship, there will be a time to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Please plan ahead to participate in this virtual experience. Be sure and have bread and grape juice (or wine) ready as you watch the drama. When the service reaches the point of sharing the sacrament (you will hear, “Jesus took bread and gave it to them…”), take the Bread and the Cup, share it together (as a family) or individually. Though we cannot be together as the church on this Holy night, we will know the Spirit of Christ is present, uniting and connecting us to one another.
One last thought that can unite us while we are apart---there are people across our Blue Ridge District of the United Methodist Church who are praying a noonday prayer. I invite you to set an alarm and join others, clergy and laity, each day at noon to pray for our world as we protect, respond and heal from this global pandemic. Now and during Holy Week, please pray for:
All those infected and in need of healing
Protection and provision for all health care workers and first responders
That the spread would be mitigated
All those impacted financially and socially
Those most vulnerable in our communities
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.