I was pleasantly surprised when Deb and I received in the mail an Easter card from our youngest son and his wife. I thought, “Who sends people Easter cards? What thirty year old would send someone an Easter card?” And these two are in Europe right now; so, how did they have the presence of mind to be this kind or thoughtful? In the card, they each even wrote a little note.
I’ve always been a bit surprised that merchants haven’t marketed and branded Easter like they have Christmas. For whatever reason, Easter just doesn’t get the buzz of the Christmas holiday. Maybe it’s the death piece in Easter verses or the birth piece in Christmas that keeps the marketers at bay. I’m not too concerned that hyping Easter hasn’t happened; actually, I’m rather glad it is this way. But, for us who are Christians, Easter is a big deal, a very big deal, the biggest deal. It is worthy of all our attention and adoration and awe.
Next week is Easter week. Starting this Sunday is the event of Jesus entering in triumph into Jerusalem with the people singing hosannas and wanting to make him king (Matthew 21:1-11). Next Thursday is the feast of Passover, a time of recalling God’s miraculous deliverance of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt (Exodus 12). Jesus celebrates the Passover meal with his disciples, and in it, he institutes the new covenant, the new meal, a freedom that he will bring from the bondage of sin (Luke 22:14-20). Jesus alone knew and understood that he was going to a gruesome suffering and death. He had spoken of it to his disciples, but they just didn’t get the picture. On Sunday, they wanted to make him a king. By Friday, he was dying a criminal’s death on the cross. At that moment, it was the death of hope for his disciples, but we now know it was the birth of hope for all.
I want to encourage you to give yourself to Easter week. Let your heart get caught up in the narrative of events. Pull yourself out of your usual routine and let the Holy Spirit draw you into our Savior and his death and resurrection.
And one more thing, send someone an Easter card. I’m serious. I was so taken aback and found my heart cheered over a card that reminded me just how wonderful Easter is. Send it to someone whom you would like to cheer. If you want to be more audacious, give someone an Easter gift. No one is expecting these things. No one will be disappointed that you didn’t get something for everyone. Each person will think it is a thoughtful act.
We are followers of Jesus.
It’s a great time to be thoughtful toward others.
He is Risen. Halleluia!
We have scheduled a number of gatherings to bring us into the narrative of Easter week. Set aside the time to let your heart be drawn into the greatest event that has ever happened in all history.
Here are some of the gatherings planned:
- Holy Thursday April 13, 7-8 pm at the church – Communion and a time of communing (facedown) prayer. A reflection of the Last Supper and prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Good Friday April 14, 7-8 pm at the church – Live worship and a devotional on the day of Christ’s death. Then from 8-9 pm we will have another time of communing (facedown) prayer.
- Holy Saturday April 15, 7-8 pm at the church – Another hour of communing (facedown) prayer. Following this hour, our African members will have an evening of extended prayer from 9 pm – 2 am. All are welcome to this time as well.
- Sunrise Service April 16, 6 am – Outdoor at the church property on Chapel Hill and Louisville. Come bundled up for a brief time of singing, scripture reading, and watching the sun rise on Easter.
- Easter Sunday services on April 16, 9 & 11 am and a 4 pm African multilingual service