Hi Amesbury friends,
WHAT A GLORIOUS WEEK! Whether you take that to refer to the sun shining brightly outside or the Son to whom this week is dedicated, doesn’t much matter. It is a great week! This is Holy Week, the most sacred time of the year for Christ-followers. This is the week that we have the opportunity to follow the journey of Jesus during the last week of His life on earth. From His triumphal entry into the holy ancient city of Jerusalem, to the unleashing of His righteous anger overturning tables at the temple, His time in fervent prayer with His Father in the garden, His final meal with the disciples, His betrayal, “trial”, torture and eventual death on the cross. Doesn’t sound all that glorious so far, does it? Ah, but then - the resurrection. What comes next defies human understanding as Jesus denies the grave and defeats death once and for all - hallelujah! What a glorious week! But, I am getting ahead of myself. Before we can get to Easter, we must first walk through the days that preceded Jesus’ death.
One Holy week, very early on in my Christian walk, God allowed me to experience this week - I mean really live it out - though the eyes of the disciples. I experienced the events and felt the emotions in such a real way:
the weight of Judas’ betrayal
the heartbreak and helplessness of Good Friday
the sorrow and hopelessness of Holy Saturday
and the confusion and joyful revelation of the resurrection on Easter Sunday.
It completely changed my understanding of Holy Week and the way I have experienced it in the dozen or so years that have passed since then. I believe we miss the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross if we do not intentionally walk through the difficult, but necessary events that preceded and followed Jesus’ death on the cross before celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is for this reason that we offer multiple services throughout Holy Week and we hope you’ll join us not just for Sunday morning, but also for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday so we may continue the journey to the cross together.
Another great way to experience this Holy Week is to take the opportunity to see some very impactful movies at the Seacoast Christian Film Festival. The Film Festival runs Wednesday, April 12th through Easter Sunday, April 16th at VisionMax Cinema in Salisbury, MA and includes some great movies such as God’s Not Dead 2 and I am not Ashamed (the true story of Rachel Scott, one of the shooting victims at Columbine High School). Rock Church Ministries has partnered with the Film Festival for the second year to spread the good news of Jesus to a hurting world, so we hope you’ll take thisoccasion to support this important work while getting out to enjoy some great movies! All info on the Seacoast Christian Film Festival, including show times and directions to the theater, is available at www.christianfilmproductions.org/movies.html.
On Saturday, I hope you’ll join us for a special community outreach at the church for a pancake breakfast ($5 Teens & Adults/ $3 Kids & Seniors) and Egg Hunt running continuously from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM. The Egg Hunt & activities are for kids ages 2 - 12 years and they are free. In order to bless our community, all proceeds from the breakfast are going to the Amesbury PTO! And if you don’t have a little person to bringto the Egg Hunt, we’d love to have your help since there are so many activities to coordinate. If you are interested in helping contact Pastor Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org)and he’ll help you figure out where to plug in!
Lastly, don’t forget that we are piloting our new parking shuttle program for services on Good Friday (April 14th) and Easter Sunday (April 16th). As we are hoping to have many guests at both services, I’d encourage anyone who is able to either take the shuttle or park on the street or in public lots (behind the Library and Town Hall). The shuttle on Good Friday will run from Amesbury Middle School starting at 6:30 and on Easter Sunday it will run from the lot behind Morning Buzz starting at 9:30. Return shuttle service will run for a half an hour following both services. At both locations, there will be a sign where the shuttle will stop. Thanks so much for doing what you can to show the love of Christ and make our guests feel welcome!
Blessings on your week as we journey through the life, death and resurrection of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!