Sunday Worship – April 28

Sunday Worship – April 7

Easter Joy Spills Out!

Sunday Worship – April 14

Dead Men Don’t Eat Fish!

Earth Day – Birth a Garden

Help feed your neighbors! Join us on Sunday, April 21st from 12pm – 4pm at the Christ Church in La Plata to help build a garden to grow produce for our Plentiful Pantry and Community Fridge. Rain date: April 28th. 

Easter Day! March 31

,11 am Bells! Lilies! Alleluias! Cries of “Christ is risen!” Join us for exuberant Easter worship with sermon and communion, followed by a party and an Easter Egg Hunt for children

Great Vigil of Easter, March 30, 8p

Holy Saturday, 8 pm Great Vigil of Easter online (Zoom/FB)

Easter begins in the dark! This service, in which we hear some of the great stories of our faith, the story of God that led to that great moment when Jesus’ followers discovered he was risen from the dead. Join both Christ Churches online that evening and discover the joy of Easter in a different key. Click here to join on Zoom

Good Friday, March 29 – 7p

Good Friday Liturgy online (Zoom/FB)

Join both Christ Churches online to pray the solemn liturgy for Good Friday, with a reading of the Passion of Jesus Christ According to St. John.

Good Friday, March 29 – 12-3 pm

We gather at Christ Church in La Plata (112 Charles Street) for an interactive Stations of the Cross followed by prayers and Communion from the Reserved Sacrament – on the day we remember Christ’s death we don’t consecrate communion, but still yearn to be fed on the bread of life. If you are unable to come, you can do the Stations of the Cross at home by using the online version here.

Holy Monday: Lazarus of Bethany

You can listen to this reflection here.  Today’s gospel reading is here. This Holy Week, Water Daily will look at the readings appointed for each day and reflect from the perspective of one the people on the fringes of the story. We too are on the fringes of this story – and we are invited to come into its heart this week. May these holy men and women draw us closer. 

Lazarus of Bethany: So, they want to kill me – I, who have already tasted death. More than tasted – spent four days in that place where there is no light. Came back to myself in a cold, dark, rancid place; came back to myself at the sound of his voice calling me. Stumbled toward the light beyond the rock they’d just moved to let me out, not sure where I was, or who.

If I hadn’t seen the power and love in this man who became my friend, I might say Jesus was the worst thing that could have happened to my family. His visits caused my sisters to squabble, his friendship drew unwanted attention. But I can say with my whole heart that Jesus was the best thing. He drew out the gentleness in Martha, who so often uses her intelligence and competence to control events and other people. And I’ve seen our sister Mary show a new boldness and courage since coming to know Jesus.

Like tonight, at dinner at our house – she took a whole jar of nard that must have cost her the earth, and anointed Jesus’ feet with it. Just got on her knees and anointed him and then wiped his feet with her hair. It was extraordinary, and unsettling. Didn’t make his disciples happy – don’t know if it was the extravagance or the intimacy that bothered them most. But Jesus defended her, talking about her having “bought it for the day of my burial.” He knew the end of this life was coming soon; I wonder if he knew how ghastly that end would be? Did he fear it? The suffering? The dying? Did he know what would come next – really know? Or did he have to walk by faith, like all of us?

And now, because so many have come to believe in Jesus because he raised me, they want to kill me. The symbol. The forerunner. You know what? They don’t scare me. Death no longer scares me. Like my sisters, I believe Jesus is who he says he is, the Anointed of God, the Messiah we’ve been awaiting.

And I know that the next time I leave this life, it won’t be to the place of complete darkness. For he will be with me, the Light of the World will illumine even that darkness and make it holy. I just wish he didn’t have to pass through the darkness himself…

What in Lazarus’ story – or Martha’s, or Mary’s – brings up a story in you? A story of new life returning from dead places?
A story of hospitality and service? A story of extravagant sacrifice to honor Jesus or your faith? What do you want to offer Jesus today?  

You are welcome to join Christ Church for online worship at 7 this evening – here is the link. Our Holy Week line-up of mostly online services is here.

© Kate Heichler, 2024. To receive Water Daily by email each morning, subscribe hereHere are the bible readings for Holy Monday. Water Daily is also a podcast – subscribe to it here on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast platform.

Laying Down Our Cloaks

You can listen to this reflection here. Sunday’s gospel reading is here

We ought to call it “Leafy Branch Sunday” or “Cloak Sunday,” for there is no mention of palms. And those leafy branches weren’t being waved around – people were placing them on the colt which carried Jesus through the streets, and even on the road on which the colt would walk. So revered was Jesus in this moment, people didn’t even want the hooves of the beast on which he rode to touch the bare ground: Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields.

In just a few days, this same man whose feet were too holy to touch the ground would walk these streets, bloodied and bruised, ground into the mud by the weight of the cross beam he must now carry. How did the people go from such extravagant reverence to contempt in such a short time?

The human success of Jesus’ earthly ministry reaches its apotheosis in the Palm Sunday story. And maybe the over-the-top frenzy of adulation directed toward Jesus fueled the degradation he endured later that week. We do like to put people on pedestals, and then watch them topple down. But Jesus wasn’t here for human success. He had his heart and mind set on a victory that was impossible to explain even to those who knew him best. I can only imagine how dislocating this event must have been for him.

Where are we to place ourselves in this story, especially in worship on Palm Sunday, when we make this transition from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify him!” in a matter of minutes? Each year, we can find ourselves in a different place in the story, and in a different relationship to the man at its center.

I wish I could meet this Jesus for the first time. I wish I could feel the zeal and the love I’ve seen in people who have more recently come to know him. Even in my own prayer life, my experience of Jesus is domesticated and muted. He is too familiar – and not well enough known – to engage my feelings the way I wish.

How might we experience the reverence of those who spread their cloaks on the road? How do we get back in touch with the God-ness of this man who came to make God knowable? It’s a hard balance to find. Jesus didn’t want to be on a pedestal, or on the back of a colt. I believe he wants us to have tea with him in the ordinariness of our lives. And yet, this one who invites us to make ourselves known intimately to him, to speak the desires of our heart and confess our blemishes, is God!

We might begin by adding some reverence into our spiritual practice – the consecrating of the time, the lighting of the candle, the closing of the Ipad (which is hard if that’s where you’re reading the bible…), the focus on gratitude.

Jesus doesn’t need our hosannas, I don’t think, but I do believe he wants us to be real, “uncloaked,” if you will. Maybe laying our cloaks on the road before him is a way of letting him know us fully, as we truly are.

© Kate Heichler, 2024. To receive Water Daily by email each morning, subscribe hereHere are the bible readings for Sunday. Water Daily is also a podcast – subscribe to it here on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast platform.