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Holy Week Message From President Teuscher

April 14, 2019 No Comment

Holy Week greetings to the pastors, deacons, and members of the congregations of our Synod.

Rev. Timothy Teuscher

“Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble” (LSB 456). So that familiar African American spiritual hymn asks. While at first we might answer those questions by saying, ‘Well, of course we weren’t there when Jesus was crucified or when He rose from the grave. After all, this took place nearly 2,000 years ago and half way around the world from where we are living.” Yet, the fact of the matter is that through the Holy Word that is read and proclaimed and sung in our congregations during Holy Week and in the celebration of the Holy Supper we are in a sense there – united with Him in His death and resurrection and receiving personally His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation.

On Palm Sunday we are there in Jerusalem by means of the Divine Service and also greet Jesus with the crowd of people as He enters the holy city to suffer and die. On Holy or Maundy Thursday we are there with Jesus and the disciples in the upper room by means of the Divine Service as He institutes the Holy Supper of His very body and blood and, thereby, also recline at the table to eat and to drink of this heavenly meal. On Friday morning we climb Calvary’s holy mountain and in the solemn Good Friday Service are there to see our Lord die that bitter death on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Then, on the first day of the week we are there through the festival Easter Service at the empty tomb and with Mary Magdalene and the other women also hear that amazing, joyful message, “He is not here. He has risen” (Luke 24:6).

And in order that we might be there – in the upper room, at Calvary’s mournful mountain, and at the empty garden tomb; may all of us participate ever more devoutly and reverently in the special Holy Week services in our congregations . . . and also invite others to join us.

To that end may you have, as that hymn puts it, a “trembling” Holy Week.

Rev. Timothy Teuscher, President, Lutheran Church—Canada