St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991

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A Note from Pastor Jenn-March 25, 2021

Posted on March 25, 2021 at 9:27 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

Last year at this time we were taking in the facts and learning how to put together a completely online Holy Week as we worked through our own grief and fear and learned more information about what we were facing with the COVID-19 virus. As I said on Sunday, little did we know how easy it was to create an all-online week of services. We are now in this midst of this truly “in-between” time as more and more people are becoming vaccinated; we want to continue to be safe and offer both in-person and virtual worship experiences for the week to help us see The Hero’s Journey all the way through to Easter.

One of the lectionary Scriptures every Palm Sunday is Paul’s hymn of Philippians 2 which invites us to “adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) The attitude of Jesus was one of humility, where he “emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings.” I recognize in my reflection time that one of the things this hybrid Holy Week is calling me toward is humility, learning to empty out my expectations of what I want, to be able to be open to what God is trying to do in all of us. I must confess, I’m impatient and want to jump ahead a year. I look forward to a time where masks aren’t needed and gathering doesn’t have to have so many precautionary measures. I’ll admit, I want to hear a full choir sing, and I miss a jammed pack worship space. But I also know we still are not in that place yet as a community. We still need social distancing, masks, less public singing…and so I’m praying through the humbling of my spirit to wait, to trust, to listen, and watch.

Hopefully you have already seen the offerings we are making available for you and others to participate in during this special week. Be sure to invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers and click here to reserve your seats. If you plan to worship online, make sure to stop by the church office to pick up a worship packet. Since this is something different for all of us, we are going to really trust and rely on the Holy Spirit to show us a new understanding of what each moment of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter morning may teach us. I wonder, maybe this is actually a gift God is offering me, hoping I will take another leap of faith and trust in this historical time to learn something. Maybe the Hero of my life is really wanting me to deepen my relationship with Him and experiencing His Holy Week in ways I was unable to see before. How can I humble myself to understand that, although it’s been fifty years of being inside a Sanctuary for each night of Holy Week? Remembering and being open to the fact that God has not taught me everything I need to know about those moments, there is still much more to understand about Jesus, myself, and the community of faith. What are the new ways Jesus is offering me, to show me how I can serve and love, or the things I may need to nail to the cross and let die, or grief from this last year that needs to be sealed in a tomb, in order for Christ to help hope, calling, and new dimensions of our relationship to Come Alive in me Easter morning?

I share these thoughts from my own prayer life to invite you to consider asking Christ similar questions. As we move toward the great palm processional, what does it mean to shout for joy for the Hero to arrive in your life, on your street, in our city? What needs to change and to be prepared to walk The Hero’s Journey? What has become almost “too easy” and has left you not recognizing the weight of this week this year? Come, begin The Hero’s Journey with us. Take the steps you need to experience the week fully, not skipping from parade to festival, but taking the time to journey all the way to the cross as well as the tomb. Who knows what the Hero wants to say to you.

Grace and peace,

Jenn.

P.S.

Hopefully you and your family are leaning in to Lent by offering up/giving up some practices or things to embrace other disciplines that help us focus on the meaning of the season! One such discipline is a Lenten Offering and your generosity truly blesses others. We are still $33,000 away from reaching our $50,000 goal to support families who are facing food insecurity. We are fighting hunger both locally through St. Luke’s Supporting HEARTS ministry and globally through ZOE Ministries. The Lenten Offering helps St. Luke’s extend God’s work beyond our Operating Budget. Click here to give a special Lenten Offering.

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