Rector’s Reflection

The Rev. David Erickson

Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow-disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’ 
John 11:16

Therefore we have been buried with Christ Jesus by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4

Greetings St. Mary’s Community,

Holy week is upon us. This week, we will walk alongside Jesus as he enters Jerusalem, shares a final meal with his friends, is betrayed, and crucified. Two days later, out of the pit of absolute darkness and despair, as the sun rises on Sunday morning, we discover an empty tomb. This week, we gather to walk the way of the crucified and risen Christ.

This gathering will be vastly different than what we have experienced before. Our understanding and expectation of what it means to gather as the Body of Christ and to experience this faithful journey has been completely upended. But rest assured, even under these circumstances, we gather, we walk, and we are in this, together.

To walk Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday together, we invite you to join all of the St. Mary’s community in a hybrid online and at-home experience of prayer and worship. The liturgical staff of St. Mary’s has been working with resources from around the Episcopal Church and has put together a guide for walking this journey of Holy Week together. The guide may be found and downloaded HERE. Bulletins for each service will be available on our website by Wednesday, and when they are available we will send another email with the bulletins included.

The guide offers a variety of ways to experience Holy Week. The flow of at-home and online worship allows us to be together and yet practice these “services” in more intimate ways as families and individuals. One possibility is to join other families through a virtual Agape meal after our online worship on Maundy Thursday. I am excited to see how the Holy Spirit meets us in these new, and yet ancient, ways of gathering as the church in worship.

Christ’s invitation to pick up our cross and follow him is an invitation to let go of our limited and often self serving way of seeing and doing things, and enter into the fullness of life for us all. The only way to get to this life, this Resurrection life, is through the cross, through crucifixion, through the dying of all those things that keep us from God and from our true selves. It is only through some kind of death that true life can be found.

This Holy Week, amidst all the uncertainty in our lives, let us heed the call of St. Thomas and follow Christ to his death, so that we may then also, joyously, share and celebrate in Christ’s eternal and abundant life.

Grace, Peace, and Blessings,

Rev. David