Preparing for Worship: Holy Week at Grace

Preparing for Worship: Holy Week at Grace

John Haralson   •   March 25, 2016

“...we cannot have Jesus just on our terms. After the resurrection, with its demonstration that Jesus's life is as indestructible as God the Father's life, we can't simply go back to the Jesus who is humanly familiar; and―obviously―we can't have Jesus as a warm memory, a dear departed whose grave we can visit. He is alive and ahead of us, clearing a path to the Father's heart....

So: 'Do not cling to me', Jesus says; instead, go and bring others along on the journey. And Easter always forces us to ask where and how we might want to cling, where and how we might turn away from the task and the journey."

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Easter Sermon 2003

Dear Friends,

My oldest daughter is in the process of getting her driving instruction permit. She has been patiently, but firmly, nudging me to help her get all of the legal and educational ducks in a row to make this happen.

The fact of the matter is: I’m not sure I’m ready for this.

On the one hand, I’m genuinely excited for her. This is a significant part of growing up and moving out into the world with agency. As her father, I’m all for that.

But on the other hand, getting her driver’s license means that I need to fully embrace the reality that I do not, cannot, and actually must not, control her.

And that is a challenging road to walk.

The resurrection of Jesus marks the birth of God’s new world. On that first Easter morning, God began his work of re-creation by raising Jesus from the dead. The new heavens and the new earth are being formed right before our very eyes.

This side of Easter, Jesus invites us into this work and into a renewed relationship with God. Yet, it is a journey and a tasking that is filled with mystery. On this path, we cannot control or manage Jesus. We cannot stipulate to him the terms of our discipleship. We cannot tell him where we are willing or unwilling to go.

Instead, he calls us to trust in his love for us as we follow him into the unknown. But, this unknown leads us into the new heavens and the new earth―God’s wonderful work of re-creation. And, equally as important, Jesus promises that this journey leads us to the very heart of the Father.

So, a life of faith is a life of continuously surrendering our lives to him, trusting that Jesus is leading us to new life.

I look forward to celebrating Holy Week with you all.

Good Friday service tonight at 7 PM.

Easter Sunday Worship at 9 AM and 11:30 AM. Remember, park far & sit close. Bring visitors and make room for them!

This week: Do Not Cling to Me, John 20:1-18

Liturgy is here.

I hope to worship with you.

Warmly in Christ,


P.S. Don’t forget about the community Easter Egg Hunt at Volunteer Park this Saturday at 10 AM. It’s a great event to bring your friends to.