Hello GRC,
We’re in the midst of the holiest season of the year as Christians.  On this Thursday of Passion Week, the week of our Lord’s suffering, Jesus gathered with his apostles in the Upper Room. He stooped down to wash feet, a lowly act of humble servanthood. Hours before his arrest, he led a Passover meal, linking the next-day’s anticipated suffering and death to the sacrifice of the lamb whose lifeblood was given to rescue the Israelites from God’s justice.  This would become a new sacramental meal for his people to commemorate as a source of authentic grace, making real and certain the promise of life through His death.

The scene of the Last Supper lives on, vivid in our minds, because of an artistic genius’ Renaissance painting.  Praying in the garden late at night, Jesus pleaded for strength, and even a different solution, while committing himself again to the perfect will of the Father.  ‘Agony in the Garden’ is an appropriate description.  He was arrested by an armed mob: a strange mix ofvigilantes, religious leaders, and professional temple guards… and one apostle who had crossed over to the dark side.  We gather tomorrow night to remember these realities, and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper (dinner at 6:30pm if you can make it, then service at 7:30).  And we’ll gather again on Friday afternoon (4:30pm) in solemn, mournful worship, to remember the end of the Lord’s suffering:  love displayed to the world on a Roman cross.

If there is any day on which it’s appropriate to fast, to lose our appetites in the face of the horror and tragedy and shock of the death of the God-Man, Jesus Christ… it’s Friday.  If you’re a healthy adult without any conditions that would be affected, I encourage you to engage in this unfamiliar spiritual discipline.  It shouldn’t be like a flippant skipping of potato chips or chocolate; it shouldn’t be a practice that’s isolated from the events of Good Friday.  If you choose to fast, it should be a natural response to the blackness of the day.  Who feels like feasting in the face of tragedy?  Part of cultivating that connection could involve a meditative reading of one of the Gospels, rather than going about the day like every other day.

Experiencing hunger with the skipping of breakfast and lunch should also remind us of what truly sustains, nourishes and satisfies us:  the bread of life and the living water that refreshes through faith in the promises of God in Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll join us in these richest of worship gatherings as we move closer to the high-point of the year, which is Resurrection Day!
Grace to you,
Peter
Peter Wang, Senior Pastor