Holy Week 2015

The Lenten journey is long and, at times, hard. Whether it is committing to and then slipping up on spiritual disciplines, the constant reminders of our depravity and need are continually heightened during this season of the Church Year. Which, of course, is good--and partly the point. Where Lent is realized, however, is in the holiest of weeks, when we are reminded of our Savior's trek into Jerusalem, Gethsemane and Calvary. This remembrance was no different here in Philadelphia. 

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Early in the week, Shepherd of the City's congregation were invited to the parsonage to watch The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson.  

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Good Friday's sermon reminded us of the true meaning of Christ's words, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" God the Father turned away from Christ, which has never been experienced by any other person in the world. God forsook His Son so that we would never have to be.  Thanks be to Christ crucified for being forsaken by the Father in our place!

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Easter Vigil at St. John's. A solemn entrance into the tomb of the sanctuary by candlelight. Just as the Marys and disciples on that first Easter morn were to realize, there was no corpse there! We delighted in the Lord's promise! He had Risen just as He said!  Alleluia!  

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Easter Sunday at Shepherd of the City. The children edged out the adults this day in number. It was a boisterous group delighting in the Resurrection!  

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Pastor DeGroot began Easter Sunday's Divine Service with chanting "Christians to the Paschal Victim." 

"Christians, to the Paschal victim
offer your thankful praises!
A lamb the sheep redeeming:
Christ, who only is sinless,
reconciles a lost world to the Father.
Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
the Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Tell, Mary, we will hearken
what you saw in the garden:
"The tomb of Christ, who is living;
the glory of Jesus' resurrection;bright angels attesting,
the shroud and napkin resting.
For Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he will go before you."
Christ indeed from death is risen,
our new life obtaining;
have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia!"  

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 A Blessed Eastertide to all! Love in Christ our Risen Lord and Savior!