RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Video-study course-Christian Celebrations-promo

22 Jun

I have a course on Basic Christian Beliefs for new Christians and as a refresher for long-time Christians, which is posted on Udemy.

It is available by posting the following link in your browser.

https://www.udemy.com/course/christian-celebrations/?referralCode=D706C0B4E96819B18699

 

Second Sunday of Pentecost -Trinity Sunday-B-June 12

08 Jun

The season of Pentecost occurs during the summer and today is a time when the church reaches out through special ministries to reach those who don’t know God that they may see God’s love and turn to Him. The zeal of the church in its ministry testifies to the presence of the Holy Spirit in it just as the tongues of fire testified to the presence of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost after Jesus rose from the dead. The church’s goal should be to be a witness to God’s love and to introduce unbelievers to the love of God in the hope that they will desire that love and turn to Christ for their salvation. The church’s main emphasis should be to reach out to those around it, conduct charity, and minister to the needs it finds. While these should be carried out all year round, Pentecost should be used to expand the church’s outreach. 

 

Pentecost Sunday-June 5

30 May

Many churches celebrate Pentecost, the second major celebration, on the 50th day after Passover (according to Jewish tradition) which is a Thursday, but some churches start the count of 50 days with Easter and celebrate it on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The color is Red, symbolizing the fire of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples, there appeared tongues of fire over them Acts 2:1-6. Pentecost was a time when the Jews celebrated the giving of the Law to Moses and predicted when God would write His law in our hearts. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost fulfilled the prophecy as the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and dwells in us, teaching us God’s Law, and guiding us in doing all that God would have us do, helping us carry out God’s will. Pentecost occurs during the harvest of the first fruits and is considered the birth date of the church. It was fulfilled when many who witnessed the coming of the Holy Spirit joined the church and became the first fruits of the Gospel.

 

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?