WS Update: Christ’s Passion and Ours

April 11, 2022

Yesterday (Palm Sunday) was the beginning of what many Christians have historically called Holy or Passion Week. The word passion in this context refers to the period of trials and suffering that Jesus experienced before his death, derived from the Latin word passio, which means “suffering” or “enduring.”  And as I mentioned in yesterday’s sermon (listen here) Palm Sunday is where Christ’s passion intersects with ours. Psalm 132 reflects David’s passion for God’s royal presence in our midst whose reign would satisfy our passion for a world of unity, joy, and peace; a passion and longing deepened this lenten season by the images coming out of Ukraine and the streets of our city.  

In the midst of our longing for peace it is helpful to remember that the palms laid in Jesus’ path (and handed out at the door yesterday) were often associated with an oasis, a place of fertility in the midst of the wilderness. Passion week reminds us that Jesus entered into the wilderness of our humanity, and through his suffering and death, opened up a way of spiritual fertility leading us out of the wilderness of our rebellion into the oasis of his Kingdom. To help you experience the oasis during this Holy Week I’ve listed some passages below to read and reflect upon as you join those who down through the years have shouted: 

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

    The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,

      they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

    planted in the house of the LORD,

      they will flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92:12

Passages to read and reflect upon:

  1. 2 Samuel 7:12-16 (The promise of this King)
  2. Zechariah 9:9-10 (The nature of this King)
  3. Isaiah 53:4-6 (The suffering of this King)
  4. Matthew 9:35-38 (The compassion of this King)

Read each passage and identify one thing for which you can thank God.

In light of Matthew 9 think of one person you can invite to Good Friday or Easter and reach out to them.

Good Friday & Easter Services

Good Friday, April 15: We will be having two Good Friday services, one at 12:00 pm and another at 7:00 pm. Both services are in-person only at W83. West Side Kids will have programming for ages 0-4. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to attend service with their families.

Easter Sunday, April 17: We will also have two services, one at 9:30 am and another at 11:30 am. West Side Kids will have programming for ages 0-4. Elementary-aged children are encouraged to attend service with their families. Please note that we will only be livesteaming the 11:30 am Easter service on our Youtube channel.

Coming Up

  • Volunteer for The Open Door, Apr 19: We will be welcoming volunteers to partner with our students on Tuesday, April 19th from 6:30-8:30 pm at the West 83rd Ministry Center, follow some prompts and engage our students in casual conversation
  • Sign up for the Youth Membership Class, Apr 24: This class helps potential members learn the gospel theology and ministry of Redeemer West Side so you can join the church. We cover what’s behind the five membership vows, how a PCA church is led, and how members step into our sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.
  • Mark your calendar for Congregational Meeting, May 1: Our annual Redeemer West Side Congregational Meeting will be on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 12:15 pm in-person at W83. This meeting is open to all Redeemer West Side participants, members and regulars.
  • Support Hope for New York on Easter: Today, we encourage you to support Hope for New York with a special sacrificial offering. Continue supporting communities in need! Your giving will go toward supporting HFNY affiliates, including ones that West Side loves: All Angels’ Church, Avail, Do For One, Dream Center, The Open Door, Operation Exodus, Safe Families for Children, Young Life/YoungLives.
  • Volunteer with Avail: On Palm Sunday, you heard Chris Whitford, CEO of Avail, share how they support parents facing unplanned pregnancies. Connect with Avail by serving their community in different ways: as a class facilitator, a client advocate, or even a photographer.
  • Gotham Applications are now open!: The Gotham Fellowship is a nine-month learning community designed to broaden your understanding of and deepen your connection to God’s redemptive work by applying theology, spiritual practices, and cultural renewal to your work, your relationships, and New York City.