Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I hope that you benefited in some way from our Lent 2019 series. I concluded the series this past Sunday with a message entitled, Fickle Faith… Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That! (6 of 6). I shared about the meaning of Palm Sunday and how Jesus is calling us to let go of what we want and cultivate convictions, particularly his own convictions. If we’re going to follow Jesus, staying with him wherever he goes and surrendering to his will for our lives, we must be prepared for him to do the unexpected. And remember, no matter how dark things get, Jesus reveals that there is reward on the other side of sacrifice.
This is Holy Week in the life of the church. It is also called Passion Week. Why? Because this is what everything in the life and ministry of Jesus was leading up to. It’s in his last hours upon the earth that Jesus most notably reveals the loving heart of God for fallen humanity, as he, the sinless Son of God, takes away our sin and nails it to the cross (Col 2:13-15). God help us if we ever forget the significance of this event. Therefore, we turn our gaze upon Christ and the cross, as well as our desperate need for his salvation, and we allow the Spirit to transform us through our reflection and experience of God’s love.
Our first Holy Week event is our Maundy Thursday Service, commemorating the Last Supper. We begin by eating a simple meal together at 5:30 pm. If you’d like to bring something to the table and help out, please let us know ASAP. Beginning at 6:30 pm, men and women will separately wash each other’s feet, as Jesus did for his own disciples. It’s at this time that we remember the love and service that Jesus calls us to as his followers. And then at 7:00 pm we will move into the sanctuary for a brief time of worship, sharing of the word, and communion by intinction. I hope to see you at this unique Holy Week event.
The next night at 7:30 pm, we will have our Good Friday Service. It’s at this service that we meditate and reflect on the meaning of the cross of Christ. This year we will sing songs, read Scripture, extinguish candles, and I’ll share a short sermon called, My Heart is Ready. Following the message, we will observe silence before the hammer rings out and the final candle extinguished.
And finally, you’re invited to celebrate Easter this Sunday at Grantham Church! As always, we have a very robust service planned for this special event. I want to encourage you to invite your family, your friends, and your neighbors to come worship the risen Lord with us. We’re expecting a full house in worship. So, I’d like to ask you to be intentional in welcoming our visitors. You can do this in several ways: (1) park as far away in the lot as you’re able (you can also use the BIC offices parking lot next door); (2) sit as close to the front of the sanctuary as you’re able, and move toward the center; (3) greet those who you don’t recognize and welcome them to Grantham Church. Let’s be extra vigilant in offering hospitality to each other this Sunday.
I’m very excited about the next few days as we open ourselves up and give Christ and the church our full attention. Let’s do all that we can to enter into the season for our own sake, but also for the sake of the church and those who are lost, so that the world may know the hope that is in Christ. May the Holy Spirit move among us in a powerful way this weekend. Be blessed, church.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Please remember that this is the final Sunday to sign-up for our Season of Service projects on April 27. At this point, we can still use up to 16 volunteers for the Serve Our Neighbors projects in the morning, and as many as 41 for the Serve Our Congregation projects that afternoon. If you have not signed up for that day yet, please stop by the sign-up station in the lobby this coming Sunday. Sign-ups for the following weeks are also available now and will continue through the Sunday preceding each weekend. Thanks again for giving of your time to serve!
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