Pastoral Reflection 3.20.16

My Hopes for Holy Week

I’ll never forget City on a Hill’s first Easter gathering. It was on the same day as a Red Sox season opening-day game against the Yankees. I dressed up in my suit, went to the ballpark, and did chapel. Immediately afterwards, I headed over to worship with our church family. We were small but the time of worship and the fellowship together was unforgettable as we celebrated Christ’s resurrection.

Every year since that first one, Easter season has been a precious time in the life of City on a Hill Church. Whether it was celebrating baptisms, singing a little extra loud, praying together, focusing on the resurrection accounts in the Gospels, or just enjoying greeting each other, Easter was a great reminder of the community we have together in Christ.

As we begin Holy Week this year, my greatest joy is not in previous Easters at CoaH, but what God is doing in our midst this Easter. God is continuing to work in and through CoaH to connect people with Christ, encourage people in their faith, and send us out to love and serve our city. As we do Pub & Theology night, join with other churches for Good Friday at Faneuil Hall, and gather for worship on Easter Sunday, I believe Christ will continue to work in beautiful ways.

As the week begins, I want to encourage you to make the most of Holy Week. Here are several suggestions:

1.    Draw near to Christ more intentionally. For some of you, this step may mean getting up a little earlier this week, carving out time during lunch to read your bible, or setting aside a day or a meal to fast. What if for each of us, our greatest desire this week is to draw near to Christ? I believe he would honor that in great ways and we may never be the same individually or as a church.

2.    Pray more intentionally. This step is not mutually exclusive of the first step but I would like for you to pray for more than just your walk with Christ, your family, or your CG. Pray for Jesus to draw people to himself. Pray by name for those around you who don’t know Christ. Pray for those who will come to our Easter events who need to experience grace, forgiveness, and hope. Pray for Jesus to glorify his name.

3.    Take a step to be on mission more intentionally. Easter is fundamentally about Jesus coming on mission for us. His life, death, and resurrection means we are a people forever marked by mission. Easter is a time people are often more open to exploring faith and church. Pray and take a risk this week by inviting someone to Pub & Theology, Good Friday, or one of our Easter gatherings.

I ask you to pray for me as I am speaking at Pub & Theology, Good Friday, and Easter. Pray primarily not that I would simply preach a “good message” but that I would encounter the risen Christ in a fresh way and then speak each time inspired and empowered by him.

            I look forward to seeing you throughout the week and praising the risen King with you next Sunday!

Pastor Bland