As we each ponder Christ’s death and resurrection—and what it means for us—we are also called as the Body of Christ to consider what it means corporately for the church. This movement from death to new life shapes our whole lives. In the waters of Baptism, our sinful selves are put to death and we are given new birth as beloved children of God. At the table of Holy Communion, we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ--forgiving us of all our sins, giving us new life, and uniting us with Christ. Each day of our lives, we are being made new in the Crucified and Risen One. As the Body of Christ--gathered in this time and place—the church is shaped by this same pattern. We, the church, as a whole are called to die to sin and death, raised to new life in Christ, and sent out to share the good news in word and deed with the world around us. This pattern shapes our worship together, guides our liturgical calendar, and gives us hope and peace through life’s many challenges.
As we see Jesus wash the feet of the disciples and hear him give us a new commandment to love each other, I ask you: What does this holy mandate look like in our individual churches’ ministries? As we look at the cross tomorrow and hear of Christ’s pain and suffering unto death, I ask you: What attitudes and practices need to die within the four walls of our churches? As we anticipate the empty grave with great joy and hear “Christ is risen,” I ask you: What new life is happening in and around our churches that deserves thanks and praise to God? Grace and peace to you, as the Spirit guides you through these Three Days and you ponder these questions in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.