Good morning my family,
I post a weekday reflection blog and I normally do not post a blog on Saturday or Sunday, but with Holy Week beginning tomorrow my thoughts and prays this morning were on preparing our hearts for this time. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday andwill began the time called Holy Week in the church. It is my favorite week in the year. We remember the last week of Christ’s life before his resurrection. It contains so many powerful events, examples, and expressions of God’s love for us as demonstrated in the life of Christ. It starts tomorrow with Palm Sunday and Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jesus’s cleansing of the temple. The institution of the first Lord’s Supper. Jesus washing the disciples feet. Jesus’s final teaching to his disciples in the upper room. The betrayal by Judas. Jesus prayer and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. His trials before the Sanhedrin, Pilot and Herod. Jesus’ scourging, and crucifixion, and finally, resurrection.
I know I am preaching to myself with all I have to do with getting ready for all the upcoming events this week, but I want to encourage you to try to make this next week different. Try to slow down. Read through a passion narrative in one of the four Gospels each day. Commit yourself to Fast and pray as often as you can this week. Try to “Fast” as much as you can from social media, TV, video games and other Apps and spend that time in prayer. Serve and do acts of mercy at the Manna house, Downtown Rescue Mission, or other outreaches into your community. This is a reason why ODC holds and I invite you to participate in our Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services before Easter Sunday to help reinforce this week is different and set aside extra time for something we need to do more of, time in collective prayer together. I know many of you do not attend ODC, so please attend your churches or another in your communities Holy Week observation gatherings.
Pray over One Direction Community, (and your church and their vision) that we can press forward with our vision of Loving God, Loving Neighbors, and Making disciples through our House Churches. Share your testimony and the Gospel at least once a day with others. Prayer walk more this week seeking new people of peace to invite into existing, and start up new house churches. Invite people to our (your) Holy Week gatherings. If for some reason you are still not in a Band Group, (an accountability group) make it a priority to start one this week. Pray we can more deeply develop a heartbeat for those who are not yet here, rather than those who are here. That is why God sent His Son, that all may be saved by his suffering and resurrection of grace.
My family, I pray today you will intentionally commit to refocusing your heart, your free time, and dates on your calendar for next week and remove distractions and include Holy Week gatherings, times of service and sharing the Gospel, and time in Word and prayer. In Jesus’ name. PLEASE pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
I love you all,
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.