The most celebrated thing in sports is the “Comeback.” It’s one thing to win a game, a match or a competition. It is something else entirely to come from behind to win. There is something incredibly powerful and moving about winning in the end when all seems lost.
This is the power and importance of Holy Week. Holy Week follows all that Jesus faced during his final week of life on earth. There is the hopefulness of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It’s a little like the roar of the crowd when the team charges onto the field at the start of the game.
But before long, Jesus is sharing the last supper with his disciples. He foretells his betrayal and his sacrifice. There is the washing of the disciple’s feet and the time in heart-wrenching prayer in garden. Soon Judas would arrive with soldiers. Jesus betrayed with a kiss. The arrest. The trial. Peter’s denial. The way of suffering as Jesus carried his cross to the hill where he would be put to death.
Ultimately, all of the pain and struggle of this week would give way to the joy of the resurrection. But what makes the victory of the empty tomb so powerful is the struggle that precedes it. It is the comeback of resurrection that makes Easter morning a time of such profound joy.
Just when it seemed to the disciples that all hope was lost, they hear the good news proclaimed that Jesus is alive! So for us, if we want to experience the full joy of Easter, we must also experience the struggle of Holy Week.
I certainly hope every one of us will be in worship at one of our Easter celebrations. But I would also encourage you to attend one or more of our Holy Week services. See the full schedule at JoyfulEaster.org.
Then on Saturday at 5:00 pm we will have the first of 6 Easter celebrations. We offer the Saturday service as an opportunity for those who may be traveling on Easter, those who are serving on Easter (hospitality, child care, choir, praise team, etc) or for those for whom Saturday at 5:00 simply works better. Then we will have our full slate of Sunday morning services on our usual schedule.
It looks like it might rain this weekend, so we would love to have some extra “Umbrella Greeters” in the parking lots for Saturday and Sunday. If you would be willing to help with that, please contact Cathi in Sandown, Lisa or Dawn at North Shore, or Sunnie in Plaistow.
And most of all, don’t forget to INVITE! Everyone needs Jesus and we have an amazing Easter Celebration planned where everyone will have the opportunity to hear the good news in a powerful way.
On another note, some of you may know that we have outgrown our space in Amesbury. We recently put the church building on the market. The sale will allow us to relocate to a space with room for continued growth. A few days ago we received an excellent offer on the building. It is not a done deal yet, but if all goes well, we will be transitioning in the early fall. Please keep this in your prayers.