Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter Sunday and includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. You are invited to join us here at Bethlehem for our worship services throughout the week either in person in our Worship Center or online . Below, you can find information pertaining to our Holy Week events including links to our services as well as bulletins for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when they are available. (Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday bulletins will be available on the normal Sunday Worship Service Page).
Why would we refer to a week as being holy? The word “holy” means “set apart.” That’s why we call the Bible “holy.” It isn’t just any book. It is set apart from all other books because it is God’s living Word given to us for our salvation! The same goes for Holy Week. This week is set apart from all other weeks because this is the week in the Church Year when follow Jesus through His final days on earth and hear again of the sacrifice He was willing to make on our behave to pay for our sins with His life and win for us salvation!
The Sunday before Jesus was crucified by the people, they honored and adored Him as their Lord and king with palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna!” We remember this as the beginning of Christ’s bitter walk to the cross.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people began to praise and honor Him as their king. They believed Him to be a powerful leader who would overthrow the Roman government and restore Israel. When Jesus did not do this as they expected, the people wanted Him crucified. But Jesus revealed Himself as our humble King who came with a much bigger task. He’s a king who came to die for the sins of all people. Wow! What a King!
The Thursday before Jesus was crucified He sat in the Upper Room with His disciples and shared a meal with them, His last before His death and resurrection. It is here that Jesus institutes the sacrament of Holy Communion that we still celebrate today, where God meets us with His true presence in the bread and wine, and offers us forgiveness.
This is also the day that Jesus, the King of the Universe, got down on His knees, and washed His disciples’ feet. By performing this act of humility (which only the lowest of servants would do) Jesus gives us an example of the kind of humility and service we are to show each other and the world.
NOTE: Only the 7:00pm service is Live Streamed.
It seems strange to call the day that Jesus was crucified “good”. It doesn’t feel very good knowing that because of us, Jesus had to go through all of those horrible things and then pay the ultimate price, His very life, up on the cross. But that is exactly why it is good! Jesus, who never sinned, paid the penalty for our sins and made us right with God.
Our Good Friday Services reflect the sobering realization that it was our sins that put Jesus on that cross. The service is dark, and quiet, and somber. We leave the Worship Center without sound, but not without hope! Because we know what happened after three days!
NOTE: Only the 8:00pm Service is Live Streamed
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah! God’s promise to save His people is fulfilled and we celebrate this day, reveling in God’s grace, mercy, and victory over sin, death, and the devil. For not even death can win over our King! We lift our voices together in shouts of “Hallelujah!” to our Redeemer and Lord.
Look! How good and how pleasant it is when brothers truly live
in unity…Indeed, that is where the Lord has decreed a blessing
will be available—eternal life.
These words frame Psalm 133. The verses in between use images from worship and nature to describe the abundance with which our LORD blesses. The ultimate blessing given when God’s people dwell together is eternal life—”the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to
come” summarizes the Apostles Creed.
There are other blessings received as well as God’s people gather together. As we encourage one another, seeing each other from week to week, we assure one another that by God’s grace in Christ we have gotten through another week. In a world with so many voices shouting for our attention, certainly this
voice of reassurance speaks hope. The gift of fellowship with other believers whose focus is on the things above—those things given in Word and the sacraments—is a treasure.
While the online fellowship we experience is certainly valid and valuable—God’s gifts are given through the Word; I wanted to share the invitation with you—as you are able and feel safe—to rejoin us for in-person worship. While some of the protocols are still in place, the limits on the number of Bethlehem family members who can gather on-site are basically the same for a Home Depot or grocery store. I mention those examples as I remember some of the social media posts that suggested we could gather in-person for worship at Home Depot early on in the pandemic. We can welcome 166 people at each worship service, so we certainly have room for you! You don’t need to make a reservation, just come to worship our God together and be together with your Bethlehem family. Celebrate the unity we have in Jesus!
Together, we have joy in the journey,
Pastor Jeff Shearier
February 17 – March 24
Every Wednesday in Lent the 10:30am service will be live streamed. Below you can download bulletins and there is a link to the service. We pray that these services are a blessing to you!
Lent is a season of the Church Year that lasts six weeks. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the day before Easter Sunday. During these six weeks we look forward to Good Friday, the day our Lord died on the cross to pay for our sins, and to Easter Sunday, the day He rose from the dead to prove it!
Lent is a time when we are reminded of what Jesus gave up for us, and a time when we look forward to and prepare for His death and resurrection! During these 40 days, we remember God’s faithfulness to His people and how His faithfulness is complete in Jesus, our Savior. Jesus remains faithful to us, always.
If you would like a packet of ashes—and a cleaning wipe—to participate in our Ash Wednesday services from home, please call or email the church office. You can also pick up a packet during office hours. Ash Wednesday is February 17. The services will be live-streamed at www.tinyurl.com/blcnow
Every Wednesday from February 17th (Ash Wednesday) to March 24th we will have services at 10:30 am and 6:30 pm. After Ash Wednesday, only the 10:30 am service will be live streamed as the services will be identical in form. You can watch the service video live at 10:30 am or any time after the service concludes.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17, we will celebrate Holy Communion in the 10:30am worship service and then following the service from noon until 4:30pm there will be opportunities for individual communion. Wednesday evenings, we will celebrate Holy Communion in the 6:30pm worship service and then following the service until 9pm. We will discontinue the Thursday afternoon communion times during Lent—except on Maundy Thursday.
We don’t get to see one another regularly, with some gathering in-person and some online. Here’s a way we can see and hear one another. We’re gathering interested folks who’d like to offer a devotional thought on something Jesus said—the “red letters” in your Bible—or offer another devotional thought. For more information, please email Eric at email@example.com There is still the chance to contribute!