Holy Week Is Here
Thursday before Palm Sunday is the day my pastoral homework is usually due. Holy Week is like final exams. No more time for studying. It’s time to proclaim what you know. So usually the Thursday before Palm Sunday I finish the homework to be ready for the worship work. So let me share with you a few of my assignments.
On Tuesday, our Pastoral Staff scheduled big picture ministries through June 2016. Under John Rice’s leadership we took a long look into the next 15 months. I’m excited about the days ahead.
On Wednesday, I heard a report about a significant initiative that our church is a part of. WCTV and the Tallahassee Democrat are promoting a Week of Awareness about underage alcohol drinking and teenage marijuana use. This problem is so prevalent in our community that many parents enable children to participate in these activities at their home in order to prevent them from driving under the influence. Yes, it’s a “world upside down.” In light of these issues, our church is one of the sponsors of a week of media coverage across multiple platforms. Stay tuned for more details to come.
On Friday, I participated in the Mayor’s Summit on Children. We learned how vital the years before age 5 are to a child’s personal formation. I’m grateful for our Weekday staff and parents that provide a firm spiritual, educational foundation. We have much work to do as a community. According to State Senator Bill Montford, children in nearby Franklin County go to school needing toothbrushes and underwear. Many parents in Leon County send their children to the school clinic when they arrive at school so they can receive help. We know through our experiences at RAA and Sable Palm, children receive backpacks of food to take home for the weekends. Our work with “A Full Summer” provides food for many of these families, but there is much more to learn and do.
Today, we welcomed over 2,000 people into our facilities on a cool Springtime Tallahassee day. Kelly and I ran the 10k to start the day and joined with 100 volunteers as we demonstrated Christian hospitality. I love walking around our neighborhood and hearing people express gratitude for an open church. This year was “calendar gold.” With Springtime on the week before Holy Week, we had a chance to invite many people to our church for Easter.
This week, I’m excited about the worship offerings of Holy Week. On Wednesday at 6:00PM, I’ll be teaching on Jesus’s trial before Herod in Luke 23. (He remains silent.) Our Sanctuary is open for communion Friday from 11:00AM-5:00PM. At 7:00PM Friday, I’ll be leading a service focusing on the “Last Words of Jesus” from the cross. I’ll offer the reflections/meditations, and choir and drama will perform these powerful statements. On Saturday, we’ll gather with families to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
I’m speaking Friday at noon at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church on Tennessee Street. I’ll be one of 7 speakers reflecting on Jesus’s last words from the cross. I’m speaking on the third word “Woman, behold thy Son.” Bethel Church has extended a special invitation to our church to worship together. If you don’t have plans from 12:00-2:30, please join us.
Holy Week offers us time as believers to invite unbelievers to pause for one week and worship the crucified and risen Christ. I’ve been inviting my friends; I hope you are too. I can’t wait to see you this week.