Journey with us through Lent into Easter....
The Lord is risen! The Lord is risen, indeed!î Are the words spoken in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday. The Moravian Church. Our celebration of Jesusí resurrection begins with the Easter Sunrise service. The liturgy used for this service is a comprehensive statement of the faith and belief of the Moravian Church. The service begins in front of the church before dawn and concludes by the cross as the sun is rising. Our regular worship service on Easter Sunday is one of great joy and celebration in which we again proclaim that ìThe Lord is risen, indeed!
The season of Lent is a time of repentance and confession. It is a time in which we prepare our hearts, our souls, our spirits, to celebrate Easter. Lent helps us approach Easter by remembering that we are totally unworthy before God, that we have nothing with which we can obtain salvation, and that our best efforts at being righteous fall far short. This season reminds us how much we need grace in our lives in order to live a transformed life that reflects Godís love. It readies us to receive the grace that we need which was given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, the season of Lent is the 40 days (not including Sundays) that precede Easter. The 40 days are a reminder of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism. They were days spent fasting and praying and resisting the temptations of Satan. Some of the thematic scriptures for Lent are Luke 4:1-13; Psalm 51; Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21; Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; II Corinthians 5:20-6:10.
The final week of Lent is known as Holy Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday, the days of Holy Week follow the last days of Jesusí earthly life. From his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, to his cleansing of the Temple, to the Last Supper, to Jesus praying in Gethsemane, to his arrest and trial, and culminating with his crucifixion and death, the events of Holy Week help us to remember and reflect upon the sacrifice that our Savior made for us and prepare us to joyfully celebrate Easter. At First Moravian Church of Georgia, we journey through Holy Week with a special service each evening. We read the gospel accounts of Jesusí last week and respond with appropriate hymn verses. On Maundy Thursday we celebrate Holy Communion and on Good Friday we have a lovefeast.