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Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Ascension Sunday-May 29

25 May

Ascension Sunday reminds us of Christ’s ascent to heaven and is the prelude to Pentecost when the church should be launching its summer evangelistic efforts. Before it starts, the church should be clear on it’s mission. After Jesus rose from the dead and showed Himself to His disciples, He appeared to them in Galilee-Matt. 28: 16-20. He gathered them and told them to go and make disciples of all nations. A disciple is a student who is training to follow his master. We are to seek the lost and lead them to the Lord. Once they receive Christ, we are to baptize them, symbolically illustrating their death and resurrection in Christ. Then we are to teach them to do all that Christ has commanded us. That involves active training, not the passive attendance which is common in many churches today. Every church board should open every meeting with the questions “What can we do to win souls?” and “What can we do to train our members to be better disciples?” Now is a good time to finalize plans for a summer campaign to reach those who do not know Christ.

 

Eastertide-Apr 18

19 Apr

Eastertide is a time when we celebrate that Christ has freed us from the power of sin and death and begin to prepare to serve Him. Eastertide stretches 50 days from Easter (first day, first Sunday) to Pentecost. Jesus told His disciples to wait until they received the Holy Spirit. We cannot do it in our own strength and without divine guidance, so Eastertide is a time of seeking God’s will for us. It is not done in seclusion, but should be done through prayer with the church gathered to seek God’s will together. Eastertide begins the transition from emphasis on a serious reflection on our personal relationship with God to a joyous celebration of the resurrection of Christ by the body of Christ (His church). The church should spend Eastertide helping members draw together in unity and find their gifts.

 

Easter Sunday-April-17

12 Apr

Easter Sunday Color is White symbolizing the purity of Christ and the new believer, washed in the blood of Christ. Easter was an important time for baptism in the early church because it celebrates the death and resurrection of Christ and reenacts the new believer’s death and resurrection in Christ. It is a new beginning, washed in the blood of Christ, but it is not the end. That new life does not come full blown and complete. We must begin to grow into what Christ wants for us, just as a child grows to maturity.

 

Good Friday/Black Friday-April 15

12 Apr

  Jesus was arrested in the Garden and tried during the night. It was the custom for Pilate to release a prisoner on the Passover. When Pilate asked who he should release, the Jewish leaders wanted him to release Barabbas. It is interesting to note that the Jewish leaders considered Jesus who was meek and mild to be a greater threat than Barabbas who was a terrorist known for his murder and destruction. It is no different today. Our government is currently ignoring threats from ISIS and other Mid-Eastern terrorist groups and concentrating their harassment and intimidation on Christian groups that preach the Word of God. Apparently, they consider the preaching of the Gospel to be more of a threat than terrorists. (They are right)

 

Maunday Thursday-April 14

12 Apr

Maundy Thursday celebrates the night Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples on Thursday night before His arrest and His crucifixion the following morning. Passover celebrated the sacrifice of the lamb whose blood atoned for the sins of Israel. Jesus offered Himself up as the Passover Lamb so that His blood might pay for the sins of the world, yours and mine, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The Messiah had to come as the Suffering Servant before He could become the Conquering King. Today, it is celebrated with communion to remind us of His body, which was broken for us, and His blood, which was poured out for us. Some churches recognize foot washing as a sacrament and have a foot-washing service to remind them of Jesus’ willingness to give His life for us.

 

Palm Sunday-Apr 10

07 Apr

Palm Sunday is a perfect example of what happens when we put our agenda before God’s agenda. Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people waved palm branches and laid them on the road before Jesus to celebrate His coming because they thought He was coming to overthrow the Romans and set them free from the domination of the Romans so He could set up His kingdom on earth. However, the Passover celebrates the time in Egypt when the lamb was slain to atone for their sins and the blood put on the doorpost before the coming of the angel of death, to show the sacrifice had been made. It foretold when the Lamb of God (Jesus) would come to die on the cross to take away the sins of the world and set us free from the power of sin and death. When we stand before the throne in heaven, if our heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ, it will testify that the sacrifice has been made. Had the Jews remembered the meaning of the Passover, they would have recognized what Jesus came to do.

 

Second Sunday of Epiphany-Jan 16

11 Jan

The second Sunday of Epiphany and the rest of the season, the color is green symbolizing nature and life. Green reminds us that all nature reveals the glory of God. Though liberals say nature shows arbitrary selection, nature reveals the order and wisdom of God’s creation. Nature shows God’s handiwork, just as the stars revealed Christ’s birth. Science reveals more and more a complex universe that could not have happened by accident, it could only have been created by God. Epiphany is also a time when we remember that Christ brought us a new life. Through Christ, God revealed the Truth that set us free from the dominion of sin and death. One of the marks of the love of Christ is love for our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church. Unbelievers saw how the early Christians loved one another and they wanted that love. Today many churches are torn by strife and many Christians are fighting among themselves. Unbelievers see the fighting and are not interested in getting in the middle of that. They are turned off by the way Christians treat each other. Does your church show a love among brothers and sisters in Christ that would draw people to it?

 
 

Epiphany-Jan.7th

07 Jan

The Power of the Light-The story of the Wise Men reminds us that not everyone was glad to see Jesus come. We often think of the Wise Men coming to see the baby in the manger, but the Bible says that the Wise men went to the house where Jesus was. Since Herod ordered the soldiers to kill all male babies two years and younger, Jesus was probably a year or more old by the time the Wise men arrived. We like to think that the coming of a great king who would bring peace, would be a great thing and everyone would be glad, however the story of Herod reminds us of how jealously man without God seeks to maintain his power. They love the darkness because their deeds are evil. When the Jews forgot God and returned to their selfish ways, while still maintaining an appearance of worshiping God, God sent the prophets to remind them how to walk with God. However, they tortured and killed the prophets. Jesus came to bring Light into the darkness, but Herod tried to destroy Jesus by killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem. When the Catholic Church forgot God and sought to build up its power, God sent the reformers to restore the church, but church leaders tortured and killed many of them, rather than give up their power. Since then, men of power have feared those who preach the true Word of God because they know that men who know God will not bow down to them or serve them. We see today what lengths those in power will go to silence the church and those who serve God because they know that they can never totally control the world as long as there are Christians.

 

New Year’s Day

31 Dec

Not Christian-While New Year’s Day is not a Christian holiday; many Christians will celebrate it somewhere, where better than in church. Many unbelievers will be out drinking and dancing to erase the memories of the past year and celebrate the coming of the new year. New Year’s Eve is a good time for the church to gather in preparation for the new year. Some churches begin with a dinner, than a worship service, then games and fellowship as they wait for the New Year. Others begin with a dinner, than play games and fellowship until almost time for the New Year when they have a worship service to usher in the New  Year with praise for His blessings in the past year and prayer for guidance and direction in the new year. Whatever you do, let it be a time of joy and anticipation, recognizing that God forgives the past sins of those who seek Him, is our present help, and our future hope. It is a time to remember past blessings and pray for the future for we do not know what the future holds.

 
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Christmas Day-Dec 25

20 Dec

Share the Joy Many will not share the joy of Christmas because they have no one who cares for them or they may live in poverty and cannot afford special gifts. Either way, we should seek those around us who will not know the joy of Christmas unless we share it with them. By visiting those who are lonely, we remind them that we have not forgotten them and God has not forgotten them either. If you know someone who will be alone this Christmas, invite them to share Christmas with your family. A growing number of Christians are deciding that instead of giving each other gifts they don’t need, they will put that money into buying gifts for those that might not otherwise receive gifts. They are supporting Christmas programs by organizations in their local area like The Salvation Army, and organizations abroad like Samaritan’s Purse or simply giving gifts to neighbors they know who might not otherwise know the joy of Christmas. Christmas is a great time to teach your kids the value of giving and the greatest gift they can give is themselves. Volunteer as a family to help a local church, social service agency, day care, hospital, or nursing home. Many have special programs at Christmas that need volunteers. Besides, people, especially children, like to be part of a celebration. If there is no good celebration, they will be drawn towards bad celebrations.