This year Maundy Thursday is on April 1, 2021. Pastor Sharon will be offering Holy Communion to anyone who drives by the Parktown Food Hub on that date from 5:30-6:30 pm. Pastor Sharon will offer the communion to people as they stay in their cars. The bread will be gluten free, wine and grape juice both offered.
Maundy Thursday is when Christians remember the start of Holy Communion (aka the Lord's Supper, aka Eucharist). On this day in the story of Jesus, Jesus had a Passover dinner with his closest friends and said these words, now recited before Holy Communion in churches worldwide:
In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.
Maundy Thursday is Jesus telling his closest friends that it’s going to be ok. Jesus and his friends were all Jewish and they were celebrating the Passover together. Jesus knew what he was doing – he had marched into Jerusalem, where the religious leaders were scheming on how to get rid of Jesus’ “troublemaking” ways. Jesus knew it would not be long and he wanted to warn his friends that it would be ok. He wanted Judas to know it could be ok for him, too, but the message did not “take” with Judas. Fortunately for us, the message did take with the others at the Passover supper and we remember it today as Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, or in one very famous painting, the Last Supper.
We have just come through a difficult time and it is not over. There is some very good news on the vaccination front but we cannot yet be completely sure that everything will be fine. What we do have is this promise from Jesus: love will win. Jesus loved perfectly in his life, and it got him killed. But that death was a reflection of the people pushing for the death, not for the human being who was killed. Jesus loved perfectly and it was enough. Love never fails. And in Jesus, love meant that the failure of death was not his lot.On Sunday we will celebrate Easter. The Day of the Resurrection. The day when it all comes together. In the Christian view, this is the day that gives us hope and allows us the freedom to love the best we can. To love like Jesus.
This year Ash Wednesday is on February 17, 2021. Pastor Sharon will be offering ashes to anyone who drives by the Parktown Food Hub on that date from noon to 1 pm and again from 5:30-6:30 pm. Pastor Sharon will offer the ashes to people as they stay in their cars.
Do you know about the parties of Mardi Gras or pancake suppers on Shrove Tuesday? They always happen the day before Lent, which is a time we remember that if we could be perfect we would – but we can’t. Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday is one last celebration before six weeks of remembering our brokenness.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday when we do “imposition of ashes,” which means that some ashes are mixed with oil and then put on each person’s forehead. The words “Remember you are but dust and to dust you shall return” are a reminder that we are not going to live forever. It gets us started thinking about how little we can control and how much we need the love of a loving God.
But Lent is not the end of the story! At the end of Lent comes Easter when we celebrate that no matter how much we can’t quite figure out to be good the way we want to be, God is still completely good and loves us. In fact, it was that love that brought Jesus, the one who would not be held even by death. We see the model of Jesus and realize that the more we can live like Jesus, the less brokenness we will bring into the world. After six weeks of pondering a broken world, Easter is extra happy and joyful because we realize the main truth: God loves us as we are and will ultimately heal all that is wrong.
To keep everyone as safe as possible Pastor Sharon will be on the porch wearing a double mask and gloves. People will stay in their cars and Pastor Sharon will walk around to each window to impose ashes on each person in the car. She will be wearing sanitized gloves and will either sanitize or change the gloves between offering ashes to individuals.