This is a great tool to assist us in observing Maundy Thursday. Thanks to the guys from Church Mag for posting it. Beautiful.
I have a special sense of significance about this week’s worship events. Our church needs Easter and the surrounding days to be deeply impactful. Yesterday, I used the phrase “do or die” regarding what happens this week. I am praying for “do”!
Here is our line up:
Vespers Prayer Service: Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 7:00 PM in the Worship Center of our Palm Beach Gardens Campus. We will sing hymns, share times of corporate prayer, quiet individual prayer and Scripture reading. The purpose is to focus our hearts and minds on the work of Jesus during Holy Week.
Good Friday Candlelight and Communion: Friday, April 6 at 7:00 PM. My good friend Travis Johnson will be our guest speaker. Travis is a passionate leader and will definitely challenge us with his message. Holy Communion as well as candlelight prayer around the cross will highlight the night.
Easter Sunrise Communion at the Beach: Sunday, April 8 at 7:00 AM. Palm Beach Shores Community Center. This is an unparalleled worship setting as we will watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean on Easter Sunday! This one-hour worship event will include music, a message from God’s Word (a different message from our Gardens Campus) and Holy Communion.
New Life at Easter!: Sunday, April 8 at 9:30 and 11:00 AM at our Gardens Campus. These interactive worship gatherings will be life-changing for many people. Our Children’s Ministries Department has special plans for the day as well as egg hunts following both services.
On Easter, our church will conclude a very strategic preparation process, 40 Days to New Life. A lot of people have prayed, fasted, read the Gospel of John, served and invited people to Easter. I believe that all of this preparation will result in lots of changed lives.
For more information on any or all of this, please check out crosscommunity.cc
If you live in or around Palm Beach County Florida and do not have a church home, please be our guest.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Holy Week, sometimes referred to as Passion Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday and extending to Easter, we recall the Passion of Christ, the road He walked that led Him to the cross. It’s a great time for Christ-followers to get re-focused on matters of faith and worship.
Leading into this season of ministry, there are many times that I ask the question, “where is the passion?” Obviously, Christ cared enough and was committed enough to do whatever it took to save us. But it seems, at times, that there is a lack of response on the part of those of us who have been saved. Allow me to explain:
On any given Sunday, during music and worship, I am amazed at how many people have no response. I mean they either just stand or sit there, expressionless, unmoved. They don’t sing, or in any other way engage in the music. I realize one can worship by listening but there is no getting around the idea that we are told in scripture to sing, clap our hands and worship God. Outward worship is simply a way to express love for God, it is a “spilling over” of what is in our spirits. I wonder, do these people sense anything in their hearts? Are they, in any way, moved in their spirits? Sometimes I preach about God’s love, His sacrifice, His intense desire to know us…and there are times when there is no response. In these times, I have to ask, “where is the passion?” This explains why the average Christian will not be in a local worship gathering at church tomorrow. Recent research indicates that church attendance doesn’t mean what it used to for Christ-followers. Where is the passion?
The real issue isn’t with what is happening or not happening in corporate worship gatherings. I think Sunday is just a snapshot of the rest of life. I believe that the cares of life have acted like wet blanket on a fire. Stress kills passion. Pain has a way of burying it. Distractions prevent us from feeling and discouragement prevents us from expressing love for God.
One of the more disconcerting parts for me is, people don’t seem to hold back in their passion for other things. Tonight’s NCAA Basketball Final Four will blow up Facebook and Twitter. This certainly is a season of political posturing – most people will gladly let you know where they stand on the issues. But spirituality has become taboo for many people in our culture – including those who have been saved from hell by God. It just shouldn’t be this way.
I am asking you to reconsider your approach and response to God, especially during Passion Week. He gave everything for you. How does that make you feel? Can you contain those feelings on the inside without outwardly expressing them in some way? God doesn’t need your passionate worship, but He wants it – and certainly deserves it.
Tomorrow, I will preach a message at Cross Community Church entitled: Pasión por la Vida. It will describe how passion for eternal life for you and me drove Jesus to the cross. And I plan to challenge the people of our church to be passionate in their response to the Passion of Jesus. Join us if you are able.