This week is the highest week on the church calendar. That is why many refer to is as Holy Week. We began yesterday with Palm Sunday; we move toward Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Scholars suggest that over a third of the content of the four gospels is centered on the events of this week. It is certainly a priority to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Growing up Baptist, the focus was mostly on Easter. We would always have new Sunday outfits, gather with friends and family and eat lots of candy. I have found memories of these celebrations. Certainly, Jesus’ Resurrection is a big deal. We should celebrate. But we often failed to reflect on the suffering and tragedy of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. As we prepare for Easter this week, I would encourage you to spend a few minutes each day reflecting on the great work that Jesus accomplished on this significant week in history. If we fail to live into the pain and suffering, it is difficult to grasp the significance of Sunday morning.
Let me encourage you to read the final chapters of Matthew’s account (Matthew 26-28). There is something about spending time in Scripture that changes us. I don’t know if you are in the habit of reading your Bible each day, but this is a great time to begin. Perhaps you would even read the story several times during this week.
Finally, let me remind you that we will gather at First Baptist on Good Friday at noon. Willie Jackson, pastor of Union Missionary Baptist Church, will be preaching. On Sunday, we will gather at 9:15 AM and 10:45 AM for worship. Plan to join us at 10:15 AM for brunch in the Lower Auditorium.
May this Easter be significant as we encounter the story. May God’s Word impact us as we reflect on the pain, struggle, uncertainty of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. May we be overcome with joy as we celebrate the Risen Christ together on Sunday morning.