“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
Matthew 20:18-19 (NIV)
These words of Jesus begin what we call Holy Week. If you want an incredible Bible study for the next 6 days, just track the journey Jesus takes to fulfill His mission on the cross. (Matthew chapters 21-27; Mark chapters 11-15; Luke chapters 19-23; and John chapters 12-19.)
Holy Week is not only a time to rediscover the journey of Jesus and His mission, but also time for us to walk in the shoes of the disciples as they saw their world change in just a few days. One day it was a party, a few days later they are alone, isolated and scared. I think we can all relate to that today. Life was busy, predictable and planned and then it all changed. One Sunday I am preaching to people, the next to an iPhone. One day you are working at your desk in the office. The next you are at home and now teacher, day care worker and full time employee all in the living room. For some, your job not only changed, it may have gone away for a bit. Furloughed. I know of people who one week were with their loved one, and now because of this virus they have lost them. This is when life is put in the proper perspective and I believe this week Easter is too.
In years past, Easter has always been the official welcome wagon of Spring. It comes marking a great celebration in the Church, but also being forced to share with the busyness of our crowded lives. Churches spend millions every year promoting and should I say dangling gadgets and gizmos to try to attract distracted, busy and quite frankly uninterested people to the Easter service. But this year is different. This year we can do the mission!
I believe the Church is getting weary of trying to create events that attract busy, uninterested people, build attendance and make PAGFacebook and Instagram worthy. Do you know that one of the most depressing Sundays for a pastor is the week after Easter. Why? Because hardly anyone is there the next week. Even Christians. Why is that? Because the work around Easter is often built on an event, not reach and disciple a life who is in need. The event was meant to attract, not transform.
I am kind of relieved that our focus is not on an event this Easter, but instead on the mission. The Church will not be in a building this week. Instead we will be on mission. We will be in our homes discipling our children and worshiping with our spouses. We will be on the medical front caring for patients. We will be stocking shelves at our grocery store because people need to eat. We will be on social media, but for a different cause. Not to scroll mindlessly, but to share the Sunday Morning message with as many we can. Do the Mission!
The disciples who were scattered were gathered again. They were empowered with the Holy Spirit and they took the mission and changed the world. Today there are many who are isolated, lonely and scared. They are not distracted, busy or uninterested, but I believe ready to be reached with authentic love and a powerful message. Jesus said on the third day He would be raised to life. Death defeated. The power of sin vanquished. Freedom for all who will call upon His name. This is the mission, the motive and the power for us not to gather this year, but to scatter the good news. Here is how we can do the mission this Easter at PAG.
Good Friday Service
PAG will be hosting via video a Good Friday Service featuring testimonies of how Jesus Christ has changed lives. We are asking anyone who wants to share their testimony about what Jesus has done, please do so via video. Please make it 1 minute or less so we can include as many as possible. Use your phone and make sure it is turned horizontally. Go to your camera and then to the video option. Push play and talk away. Simply text the message to Christi at 622-3356. Please submit by Thursday by noon or Wednesday if at all possible. If you need help, call Ashley at 625-2111 or Christi. We will have a time of worship and testimony to the love and power of Jesus. Take this video and share it with your friends and family. Do the mission!
Easter Sunday Outreach
Please take time this week to make a list of who you can invite to watch or share the Easter message with. Family, friends, coworkers who need Jesus. Call on them this week and check to see how they are doing. Pray for them throughout the week and then ask them if you can share your church’s Easter service with them. Then follow up and ask if you can pray for any needs they may have. Be a witness by sharing the Good News. Pray for me and the team as we prepare this week. Pray for God’s message to be declared clearly and that we will see many place their trust in Jesus. Do the Mission!
Children’s Ministry Easter Outreach
They have developed an Easter @ Home ministry pack that will be delivered to our PAG young families homes. But PAG families have also been asked to provide our team with families who would want to join in the Easter fun who do not currently go to church. From Nursery to Planted Kids, unchurched families are being reached and invited to share in the Good News. If you know a young family who would enjoy receiving this in our area, please let the office know by tomorrow, April 7. Do the Mission!
This week, walk the journey and rediscover the mission. Thank you Jesus for completing your mission! As we focus on Holy Week, may we use it to prepare our heart for not just a weekend, but to help reach and transform lives. Do the Mission!