Happy Holy Week everyone!
This is the week before the holiest of Christian holidays- Easter. Some people think Christmas is the most important holiday and, while it's important, it's not THE most important. Easter is what makes Christians Christians. It was Jesus fulfilling the messianic prophecy, "proving" it by rising from the dead on.............Easter :)
*Like my last "church post," this comes from my notes taken from our Palm Sunday sermon.
Preparation of Easter is traditionally Lent, the 6 weeks preceding Easter, beginning with Ash Wednesday and lasting the symbolic 40 days and 40 nights.
Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday celebrants Jesus' triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. He rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey (we'll get to that in a minute) and people laid cloaks and branches (palms) on the road in front of him as a celebration/ welcome. This event in Jesus' life is mentioned in all 4 Gospels. Luke 19 :28-38, John 12, Mark 11, and Matthew 21.
Our Palm Sunday sermon focused on the question, "How do we prepare for Easter?" The answer(s) are: Do. Feel. Tell.
1. Do what Jesus says
2. Feel what Jesus feels
3. Tell who Jesus is
1. Do what Jesus says. Obedience to God and His word is something every Christian struggles with. It's part of my daily back-and-forth with God. Ex: "God! I knoooowwww I shouuullddd do this...buuutt...etc" The Donkey I mentioned earlier comes in to play here. Jesus told 2 of his disciples to go and get a donkey...essentially steal a donkey..and bring it to him. He told them that if the owner asked what they were doing to tell them that Jesus sent them. The Bible is not a script that was followed, the disciples didn't know what would happen, but they just OBEYED and this stubborn donkey was transformed itself and went willingly and carried the King in to Jerusalem. **To prepare for Easter we must practice listening to the "little voice in the back of our head," "our 6th sense," "mother's intuition,"- all watered down versions of "God." Forgive someone you know you need to forgive, ease up on someone that needs a break, stop the gossip...Do what Jesus says.
2. Feel what Jesus feels. Luke 19: 41-44 shows us that amidst the peoples' celebration of Jesus entering Jerusalem, Jesus is weeping over the people. His words of sorrow and warning were drowned out. He was offering words of warning (to what ended up being Titus leveling Jerusalem) and he was heaving in sobs, and they ignored. As believers we need to feel this internal heaving for those who haven't experienced the forgiveness and life that Jesus offers. We have the key inside us....and that leads us to #3...
3. Tell who Jesus is. If we tell- the WHOLE of humanity will move. It is our RESPONSIBILITY as believers to share Jesus with those who don't believe or haven't heard (yes, there are people in the world who haven't even heard of Jesus). God has charged US with spreading the name of Jesus. We don't need to do this by "door to door." If people know you are a Christian, they are watching you. They watch your actions, they listen to your words. We preach the gospel daily- and are to use words when necessary.
In closing, there is nothing in our "want to" that will bring us to a place of "yes" with God. We are sinful by nature and need God's help to get from "want to" to "just do." We do need to forgive, we do need to obey, we do need to preach the Gospel through actions and words. We do need to use Holy Week to bring a friend to church who hasn't believed before, or who doesn't know.
Have a Blessed Holy Week!