Lent & Holy Week, 2021
Church-wide Book Read during Lent (Ash Wednesday, February 17–March 21)
Our Lenten devotional book this year is The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus on the Cross by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham. As with our Advent devotional schedule, we will read a chapter the week before the topic is presented in the upcoming Sunday sermon. An at-home faith formation sheet will also be given to you when you pick up your book to help you with weekly wondering and reflection. We have three copies of the book left! Contact Charlotte Nance-Allbright (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your copy!
Jon Meacham explores the seven last sayings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels, combining rich historical and theological insights to reflect on the true heart of the Christian story. For Jon Meacham, like believers worldwide, the events of Good Friday and Easter reveal essential truths about Christianity. A former vestryman of Trinity Church Wall Street and St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Meacham delves into that intersection of faith and history in this meditation on the seven phrases Jesus spoke from the cross. Beginning with “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” and ending with “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” Meacham captures for the reader how these words epitomize Jesus’s message of love, not hate; grace, not rage; and, instead of vengeance, extraordinary mercy. For each saying, Meacham composes a meditation on the origins of Christianity and how Jesus’s final words created a foundation for oral and written traditions that upended the very order of the world.
Quiet Spaces for Lent
The poet Ann Weems writes that Lent is “the time to listen to who he says he is” — “the one who brings good news to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, sight to the blind…that Holy One who said, Follow me, Feed my sheep.” Moments of quiet reflection during Lent give us space to listen and for preparing for the coming of Easter and the Resurrection.
- Lenten Quiet Time Meditations: Mondays during Lent beginning Monday, February 22 — Guided meditations to give space and form for quiet contemplation using the spiritual practices of Lectio Divina and Visio Divina will be emailed on Mondays and posted on the church website and Facebook page. These meditations invite us to spend a few minutes “intentionally stepping away from our busy routines,” grounding us in the presence of God as we anticipate Easter and the Resurrection.
- Meditations on Word and Music: Wednesdays during Lent beginning February 24 — These mid-week meditations, led by the pastoral staff and musicians, include scripture, poetry, prayer and music, helping us journey through Lent in anticipation of Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God. Meditations will be emailed and posted on the church website and Facebook page.
Worship Schedule for Lent — The Seven Last Words: The Understanding Christ
During Lent this year, our worship services will be focusing on “The Seven Last Words” that Jesus spoke from the cross. No one Gospel portrays all seven last words, but they are compiled from a combination of reports made by all four of the Gospel writers.
Last words are often the most poignant and significant words that one speaks before crossing in spirit from this side to the next. The same thing seems to be true of Jesus. During this series, your staff is urging you to read The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. It was written by Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and former Episcopal vestry member in the St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and of Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.
If you are really ambitious, then pick up James Martin’s Seven Last Words: An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus. Martin is a Jesuit priest and author of the book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage, that I urge all pilgrims to Jordan and Israel to read. He is intelligent, well studied, and a gifted writer. The following description of each word and the above title come from his book.
February 21 – 1st Sunday in Lent – The First Word: Jesus Understands the Challenge of Forgiveness – Luke 23:32-38 – Carrie Tuttle
February 28 – 2nd Sunday in Lent – The Second Word: Jesus Understands Doubt About the Afterlife – Luke 23:39-43 – Ron Shive
March 7 – 3rd Sunday in Lent – The Third Word: Jesus Understands a Parent’s Love – John 19:26-27 – Ron Shive
March 14 – 4th Sunday in Lent – The Fourth Word: Jesus Understands Feelings of Abandonment – Matthew 27:45-49 – Carrie Tuttle
March 21 – 5th Sunday in Lent – The Fifth Word: Jesus Understands Physical Pain – John 19: 28-29 – Ron Shive
March 28 – Palm Sunday – The Seven Last Words Musically – Members of the Chancel Choir
April 1 – Maundy Thursday – The Sixth Word: Jesus Understands Disappointment – John 19:30 – Taylor Barner
April 2 – Good Friday – The Seventh Word: Jesus Understands Self-Offering – Luke 23:46-49 – Carrie Tuttle