Categories: Uncategorized

Church Email News – March 22, 2024

Dear Pilgrims following Jesus to Calvary,

Since my Holy Week thoughts are a little more extensive than a usually Friday email, I’ll start with this reminder:

Our Easter Egg Hunt is tomorrow, Saturday, March 23, 10:00 AM. We’ll have music, the reading of the Easter Story, and of course lots of eggs for the children to collect! How will it work with snow on the ground? Come and find out! Thanks to our Board of Outreach for organizing our Hunt.

Now for thoughts on Holy Week…


It’s Holy Week beginning this Sunday. Our worship schedule is listed below. I’d like to take a few words to describe each day of Holy Week and what Word of God our worship puts before us as we reflect on the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion
Holy Week begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on the donkey. This fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah but is also the same as when Solomon rode on David’s donkey to show that he was the legitimate king. The Son of David is identified as the King of Israel. We also hear the account of Jesus’ Passion (the word means His suffering and all He undergoes) from St. Matthew’s Gospel. During Holy Week we hear the Passion from all four Gospels. Listen closely as each one includes details the others don’t, giving us the picture of Jesus’ accomplishing our salvation. Matthew’s Gospel highlights the Jewish trial and the plotting and death of Judas, who tragically heard no good news when he was sorry for what he had done. Perhaps the most sarcastic but also truest statement is made by the religious leaders about Jesus: “His blood be on us and His children.” Indeed, His blood is shed for all.

The reading from John 12 highlights the preparation of Jesus for His burial when He was anointed in Bethany. It’s a reminder that this week is about His death for sinners.

St. Mark’s account of Jesus’ Passion sounds very much like Matthew’s. Listen for the detail only he records about a young man running away from the Garden of Gethsemane naked. Who could that be? Tradition says that the Lord’s Supper was celebrated at John Mark’s house and that it was Mark who followed Jesus and then ran away.

St. Luke’s account of our Lord’s Passion includes details of Peter’s being “sifted” by Satan and denying Jesus but that Jesus is faithful when Peter fails. Jesus speaks to the women who follow that they should not weep for Him but for themselves and the destruction that is coming. Luke records the beautiful promise of Jesus to the thief next to him that he would be with Jesus in paradise.

Maundy Thursday
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum” which means “commandment,” when Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.” The life of a Christian is to love others. That love is given to us and replenished in us as we feast on the flesh and blood of Jesus in His Supper. The gift of the Sacrament of the Altar is summarized in the prayer we hear after Communion that through the Sacrament we might “faith in God and fervent love toward one another.” Concluding the service, we strip the altar and chancel, reminding us of Jesus being taken away, mocked, beaten, spit upon, stripped, and finally led to Calvary and crucified.

Good Friday
Noon: Our Noon service focuses on the seven words from the cross. These are the seven things Jesus said while He hung on the accursed tree. Each of these words reflects His faith and trust in the Father, His mercy and love toward sinners, and His faithful fulfillment of all of God’s promises.
Chief Service: The Chief Service of Good Friday is at 7pm. This is the service “tenebrae” or “darkness.” We hear Jesus’ Passion account from St. John’s pen and it includes the sacramental details of the blood and water which flowed from His side. Darkness descends and yet one light remains, reminding us of the hope of the resurrection we look forward to. St. Paul reminds us that as long as we eat and drink the bread and cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. What better day to proclaim it than the day He died, and so we celebrate the Sacrament, giving us the true fruits of the tree of the cross, Jesus body and blood, and our forgiveness, life, and salvation.

Holy Saturday
On the seventh day, God rested. On the seventh day, Jesus was resting in the tomb. Early on the church held vigil awaiting the celebration of His resurrection. The Awe-Inspiring Easter Vigil is a beautiful service of Light, Readings, Remebrance of Baptism, Service of the Word, Prayer, and the Lord’s Supper. The heart of this service is the 12 readings which reminds us of many events of salvation when the Lord saves His people. Of course the greatest of these is the resurrection of Jesus which we begin to celebrate on this night. Many are hesitant to attend the Vigil because it is a longer service. Yet everyone who has attended—children and adults—remarks on what a beautiful and gospel-rich service it is.

Easter Sunday
The Passover from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea were the big events in Israel’s history. A similar rescue happens by the resurrection of Jesus when He delivers the world from the slavery of sin. Our Easter celebration hears the cry, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” It is full of references to the delivery of Israel from bondage in Egypt. Now the world has been delivered from sin, darkness, the devil’s power, and death. We call it a “Festival” divine service because of the festival of celebration the death of Jesus brings!

Join us as we celebrate our Lord’s Passion, remember His death, and rejoice in His resurrection. Worship schedule is as follows:

Palm Sunday (Mar. 24) – 9am Divine Service with Procession of Palms and St. Matthew’s Passion reading.

Monday (25th) – 7pm Divine Service – Jesus Prepares for His Passion

Tuesday (26th) – 7pm Divine Service – St. Mark’s Passion Reading

Wednesday (27th) – 7pm Divine Service – St. Luke’s Passion Reading

Maundy Thursday (28th) – 7pm Divine Service concluding with Stripping of the Altar

Good Friday (29th) – Noon – Divine Service with the Seven Words from the Cross

7pm – Divine Service with St. John’s Passion reading and service of Darkness

Holy Saturday (30th) – 6pm – The Awe-Inspiring Vigil of Easter

Easter Sunday (31st) – 7:45am and 10:30am – Festival Divine Service

9:00am – Easter Breakfast


You can watch live and find recorded services at the links below.

We stream live on our FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.

Our videos are also live and recorded on YOUTUBE HERE.


Our school’s “Tacos and Trivia” night is on Saturday, April 13, 6-9pm. Gather a team of your family and friends to purchase a table and be part of the party. Food will be provided (BYOB), there will be basket raffles of items from local businesses, and prizes for best decorated team tables. It’s going to be a fun night to benefit our school as we raise money for additional swings and playground equipment. Registration forms are available on the table in the narthex. Tables of up to 8 are $150 and Individual Registrations are $25 (and we’ll put you at a table with others). Registration forms should be turned in to the office by Friday, March 22. 

Many people comment, “Pastor you’re going to be very busy during Holy Week.” Yet it’s the best kind of busy because the week is filled with God’s Word, with worship, and with the constant delivery of the Good News of our Savior saving us from sin and death. I know that it’s Spring Break and I know that the world knows nothing of Holy Week. But you, dear follower of Jesus, you do know. I hope and pray you will have the opportunity to join us in worship for all or some of Holy Week, and celebrate the most important events of all: the ones where Jesus does His saving work for you. See you in the Divine Services of Holy Week!

In Christ,
Pastor Buetow