Hello Brothers & Sisters,
Palm Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week. And what a way to enter in to this special time of year on the church calendar! Our worship was rich and meaningful, and Tony Campolo both encouraged and challenged us to follow Jesus, instead of being seduced by Babylon (empire). If you weren’t able to be with us on Sunday, you can now listen or watch Tony’s message, Third Way Allegaince: Following Jesus in an American Empire.
Tony gave us a lot to think about and to consider as we seek to follow Jesus today. I want to invite you to continue letting the Spirit speak to your heart about how his message applies to you as an individual. How does God want to use Tony’s words to nudge us to change for the better?
For example, does God want you to make or renew your commitment to peace and non-violence? Does he want you to live more simply, discarding or giving away things that you don’t need? It’s possible he is calling you to give to needy children through World Vision or our own Spice program. Whatever it is, may our faith be formed in our willingness to do what is right, even when it is hard.
As I said, we are now in Holy Week, where we remember and reflect on the final days of Jesus’ life. I’d like to encourage you to read the Scriptures and follow the timeline each day of the week. At this point, you’ll need to go back and read the passages for Sunday and Monday. And then I hope that you will break away from your regular weekly routine to join us for the following services:
5:30 p.m. - Dinner
6:30 p.m. - Foot Washing
7:00 p.m. - Communion Service
7:00 p.m. – Tenebrae Service
(homily is entitled, “Experiencing God Forsakenness”)
10:30 a.m. – Worship Service
(sermon is entitled, “He is Risen, and Why It Matters”)
I’m looking forward to sharing these services with you. I think that each of these services have the greatest impact when we see that they are connected. It’s on Thursday during Passover that Jesus gave his disciples communion and then a new commandment to love each other as he loved them, where he visibly portrayed this by washing their feet. That evening Jesus is arrested and rushed through a mock trial in the middle of the night.
Then it’s on Friday that Jesus went before Pilate and was sentenced to death by crucifixion, when the Son of God was brutally executed and bore the sins of the world on a Roman cross. Only then, after having walked with Jesus through the horror of Friday, can we truly appreciate and celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Therefore, I do hope that you’ll join us for each of these services and receive the full experience of the Easter season.
Finally, please join me in praying for Holy Week. We have designed our services to help the congregation enter into worship of the crucified and resurrected Messiah. Pray for those leading and for those who will attend. Pray that we will come with open hearts and hungry souls. And may God bless our efforts to meet with him together in the sanctuary.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. We had a very productive time in our monthly Church Board meeting. The February minutes were approved last night. You can read those here at our website. Password: Grantham1998.
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