This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. There are many things I love about the evangelical church tradition, but one of the things I mourn at times like these is the rich history present in seasons of faith that we often fail to celebrate as robustly as some of our brothers and sisters in Christ from other traditions. Historically, Holy Week, has been the most sacred week of the Church year. It is filled with emotion and saturated by a weight we rarely experience. Following the events of these short few days takes you from the exuberance of celebrating the triumphal Messiah to the pain of rejecting Him along with the disciples. There is anger present as we join the crowd in calling for His death and wrath poured out as He suffers on the cross. Friday night and Saturday should be heavy with conviction under the weight of realizing what we have done. Then there’s Sunday.
Sunday is a day to celebrate like no other. In fact, it’s the reason we worship together on Sundays. The victory of the resurrection and the triumph of God over sin and death should bring us a deeper sense of joy and give us more hope than everything the world has to offer put together. While Jesus Christ has reigned victorious every day since His resurrection, our yearly celebration of Easter remains special. This year, we will gather together to proclaim that Jesus is stronger than sin, death, and every other power.
In preparation for that celebration, I want to invite you to two things; the first is for you, the second is for others. Beginning this Sunday as we enter Holy Week with Palm Sunday, I encourage you to carve out a few extra minutes each day for Bible reading, prayer, and meditation. When I say meditation I mean that after you have conversed with God in prayer and filled your mind with truth from His Word spend time contemplating the condition of Jesus, attempting to put yourself in His place and identify with Him, and let the mercy of the cross and the power of the resurrection sweep over you. We’re going to gather on Good Friday at 7:00PM for a worship service that will be understandably darker and heavier than usual. I encourage you to be there for that service. As Christians, it is good for us to feel the weight of our sin from time to time.
Secondly, I want to challenge you to invite someone to church on Easter Sunday. Our service will be at the usual time, 9:30AM, followed by a light brunch afterward. All are invited at both of these gatherings. I know many of you will have family commitments after the Easter worship celebration, but make it a priority to fellowship with your church family on this day as well. There are few things I enjoy more each year than celebrating the resurrection on Easter with God’s people. I hope you will be there, but I also hope you will prayerfully and boldly testify to the resurrection of Jesus in your own life and invite someone to church to celebrate it with you.
Easter will be a big day for us for obvious reasons. We have some special things planned and our worship singing and preaching will be filled with the joy of praising and proclaiming the risen Christ. I’ll see you this Sunday as we begin Holy Week and next Sunday as we celebrate His victory!
For the sake of His name,