Astronomers tell us that it takes the earth 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds to make a trip around the Sun. Since that doesn’t fit neatly into a calendar (not even iPhones have an “app for that” – at least not yet) every four years we recalibrate our calendars with a leap year. It’s a practice that began in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII wiped 10 days off the calendar and established leap years every 4 years (except for years divisible by 100 but not by 400).
It’s a bit confusing but it’s a great reminder that on a regular basis our lives require recalibration.
In recent years I’ve found the four days beginning today and through Sunday to provide the sort of recalibration or course correction my life and ministry requires.
Over the centuries Thursday has become known as Maundy Thursday. The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin for 'command' (mandatum). It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another.
Today we remember Jesus’ command to love – a command we live out in our vision of loving God and loving our neighbors. I need this reminder that life and ministry is not about me but rather about loving others.
Tonight our Founders Chapel will be open for prayer and communion from 5:00 – 7:00. There will be an opportunity to pray with one of our pastors and to reflect quietly on the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Then at 7:00 our 9:30 Worship Team will present an evening of worship and reflection. The Life of Christ is an hour of scripture, music and testimony telling the story of Jesus. Following the presentation the chapel will remain open for prayer.
Tomorrow, Friday, is traditionally called Good Friday (there’s not a Latin word to explain while we call it “good” but it clearly was good for us). On Friday, as I remember Jesus’ sacrifice, I am reminded of the depths of God’s love. I am also reminded that demonstrating that love requires sacrifice.
On Good Friday there will be three opportunities to remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
• At noon the churches across West Houston will gather at First Methodist Houston (Westpark and Beltway) for an ecumenical service.
• At 6:00 p.m. a repeat presentation of The Life of Christ in the Founders Chapel.
• At 7:30 p.m. in our Sanctuary our Chancel Choir is joined by an Orchestra to present a powerful service of hymns, scriptures and anthems.
Easter Sunday becomes of a celebration of love and life and the power that makes possible a life worth living.
We will celebrate with 3 worship services in our Sanctuary:
• 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 (led by our Chancel Choir)
• 9:30 a.m. (led by our Worship Team)
Kolaches, biscuits, cinnamon rolls and other refreshments will be served throughout the morning. Please bring flowers to place upon our “living cross” in the courtyard. The nursery will be open from 7:45 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. No reservation is necessary.
I pray that everyone will discover these services and celebration a way to recalibrate and to celebrate how much God loves you.