Dear Parish Family,
When you receive this Epistle, we will be half-way through our journey of Lent, the journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning. It is a journey which has been filled with self-examination, reflection, and prayer.
During this month of April, we begin in earnest the long climb up to Jerusalem and our calendar is filled with events that help to focus and support us on the journey of spiritual growth. The Wednesday evening meals and Lenten study will continue to challenge us to see that while Simon Peter's shortcomings are clearly on display in the Gospels, so also are his courage, boldness, determination, and his longing to follow Jesus even if it costs him his life. Peter would, in fact, become the rock upon which the church was built. In Peter's flaws we see ourselves and we can perhaps also see ourselves in those moments of Peter's courage and faithfulness, and ultimately, we might see what we can aspire to be when empowered and led by the Holy Spirit.
The intensity of our journey reaches its high point during Holy Week which begins on Palm Sunday, April 14th, and concludes on Easter morning.
On Palm Sunday he service will begin in the Parish Hall as the Palms are blessed, then we will become a part of the crowd which triumphantly welcomes Jesus into Jerusalem with the waving of palms and shouts of Hosanna as we proceed into the church to hear once again the story of His Passion.
On Holy Monday the clergy of the Diocese will come together at St. Paul's Cathedral in Oklahoma City to renew our ordination vows.
On Maundy Thursday, April 18th, at 6:30 pm we will come together to remember Jesus and his disciples in the intimate setting of the upper room where our Lord washed the feet of his disciples and instituted the Holy Eucharist and gave us the new commandment to love one another-v-as he loves us.
And finally, on Good Friday at noon, we will come together once again to be a part of the crowd which no longer shouts Hosanna, but instead shouts---"Crucify him, Crucify him." And after the traditional Good Friday service we will walk "The Stations of the Cross."
It will be an emotional week in which we will again be confronted with images and remembrances of our best selves, as well as, our fallen nature and sinful humanness. It is a hard week and a difficult journey that we are called to make-s-but it is necessary-v-because it touches our souls and changes us.
Yes, it is a hard journey, but through it all we are never alone and at the end of the dark tunnel through which we move there is the light of hope. And then, at the end of our journey, when we do it well, we will experience the ineffable joy of shouting: "Alleluia, Christ is risen, the Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia." So, my dearest friends, come with me-v-come and let us journey up to Jerusalem.
Blessings to each and every one of you always,