Friday Followings: Standing on Holy Ground

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Forty two of us from Gloria Dei recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land. It was truly a remarkable experience. Walking in the places where Jesus walked, seeing where he was born, and where he died. Walking the streets of Nazareth where he grew up. Witnessing the Shepherd’s Field outside of Bethlehem. Riding a boat across the Sea of Galilee. Standing on the mount from where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Floating in the Dead Sea. Worshiping at a Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. And so much more. It truly is a Holy Land. We haven’t made definite plans as to when and where, but our group will provide an opportunity for you to hear more from us sometime soon after Easter.
 
And yet, we don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to walk on Holy Ground. As Christians, we know that wherever the presence of Christ is, there it is holy. As we gather together in worship around Word and Sacrament, Jesus is present. It is Holy Ground. As we live out our faith in love and service to others, Jesus is present. It is Holy Ground. As we seek to work for peace and reconciliation in our lives, families, communities, and world, we are standing on Holy Ground, for there Christ is present. Indeed, your life is holy, made so by God’s promises to you in baptism, and by your faith and trust in him for all things in life. By Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God declares you holy. And God gives you a holy calling.
 
I invite you to meet Jesus this weekend in worship as we continue to journey through the gospel of Mark. Read chapter 11 verses 11-19.
 
And finally, a word about our Easter schedule. In the past we have had four weekend services celebrating Easter. One on Saturday and three on Sunday. This year, as attendance has steadily risen, we are adding a fourth service on Easter Sunday. I ask you to see our schedule on the website and in the church bulletin for all of Holy Week.
 
Easter celebration worship will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20th, and on Easter Sunday, April 21st, at 7:30, 8:30, 9:40 and 10:50 a.m. These past few years on Easter morning we’ve had to seat up to 100 people outside of the sanctuary in the gathering area. Our hope in adding a fourth Easter Sunday service is that all will be able to worship inside of the sanctuary.
 
Remember, you don’t have to go to Israel to witness Holy Ground. Wherever Christ is present, it is Holy. And as the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9, you too are holy. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
 
See you in worship, and thanks for your partnership in this holy calling we share.
 
Pastor Tim