Holy Week Traditions at Vintage
Every year through Holy Week we follow the account of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection day by day. The account of the week preceding Jesus’ death and resurrection occurs in all four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), with Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, celebrating the Passover with his disciples on Thursday, being crucified on Good Friday, and resurrecting on Easter Sunday.
Our theme for 2019 is Love God, Love your neighbor. The greatest picture of love for us to consider is that of Jesus’ life, willing death, and resurrection, which was completely selfless. Even though he had all power and authority, he instead acted completely out of love, the only person ever to do so. His power was always subservient to love. This is sobering to consider, as Jesus walked through his last days, allowing himself to be betrayed, arrested, beaten, falsely accused, abused.
Holy Week Traditions
Maundy Thursday is the night of Jesus’ arrest, the night of his betrayal, the night before his crucifixion. It’s a time for reflecting on the real reason Jesus died on a cross. Jesus died to pay the penalty of sin, to heal our brokenness, and to usher in the Kingdom of God. Jesus walked “The Way of Love” to the cross, and we now walk in his footsteps, choosing love over power and ourselves.
Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. We gather to meditate on the darkness of sin and death, and just how deep God’s love is for the world. Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time, and had to endure not only death on a cross but he actually became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) in order that we could be freed and forgiven.
How do we celebrate at Vintage?
Based on this context, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are both heavy services. As joyful as the resurrection is, every year at Vintage we take a moment to attempt to grasp the gravity of Jesus’ death on the cross and to remember the reason for it. These are services to be still and to reflect on our role in the crucifixion. By observing the Lord’s Supper together, we identify with the disciples who sat at the table with Jesus and realize together that we, like his disciples, abandoned Jesus to his death. We do this not to beat ourselves up but to recall the depth of our need for God’s mercy and the height of hope on Easter Sunday.
What should you expect?
On Maundy Thursday (April 18) we’ll gather together at Vintage Church Downtown at 7:30p to prepare our heart and minds for Easter Sunday. The service does not contain a sermon but instead features extended meditation on the scripture that depicts the events from the night of Jesus’ arrest. We’ll also worship together through singing and taking communion.
On Good Friday (April 19) we’ll gather at the Vintage Church North location at 6:30 to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross in preparation for Easter Sunday, where we will celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and defeat over death. This service will not contain a sermon, but songs of worship mixed in with extended readings through John 18 and 19.
All are invited to join us for these Holy Week services. To hear more about why and how we celebrate, listen to our new Vintage Stories podcast, where hosts Jennifer and Michael Murphy talk with Matt Stevens, Creative Arts Pastor for Vintage Church. There’s a link below to Spotify, and this podcast can also be found on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
Episode 2: Holy Week with Matt Stevens
The last days of Jesus’ life show us the extraordinary life he lived and the outrageous love that led him to give his life for ours. From being hailed as the next king to abandoned by every single friend and family member, what’s referred to as Holy Week is worth extra attention. In this episode of Vintage Stories, Jennifer and Michael sit down with Matt Stevens, Creative Arts Pastor for Vintage Church. He’ll share insight on why Vintage Church celebrates Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and how participating can provide a perspective we’ve not yet considered.