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Celebrating Jesus

It is so wonderful to receive stories, testimonies and photos that remind us that Jesus is with us, always.  Here are a few ways that people saw Jesus during Holy Week and Easter.

Enniskillen Methodist had a Tenebrae service on Maundy Thursday. At the end we walked out into the streets in silence. Very moving.

We attended an informal dinner and communion service at our church on Thursday and a Tenebrae service on Good Friday. I spent Holy Saturday (I like to call it Silent Saturday) with some extra prayer and contemplation

We had a service for Maundy Thursday, and after communion the lights were darkened, the altar stripped and we left in silence. On Friday evening we had a narrative reading of the passion story from John’s Gospel, with parts assigned. Everyone read out the crowd, so we all called out to “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And then what I think are among the saddest words, the religious leaders calling out that they have “no king but Caesar!”  Especially powerful at this time in America.

We got to be with all 6 of our grandchildren on Maundy Thursday and took turns thanking Jesus for something before our noon meal, a special blessing for this grandmother. I confess, though, that I had become focused more on picking back up what I sacrificed for Lent, a kind of countdown mode to Easter Day. Thursday night, as I looked up at the cross decorated with a crown of thorns and a purple cloth, I felt Jesus say, “Couldn’t you stay awake with me?” I could barely choke out the hymn we were singing. I had a renewed sense of what Christ did for me: a combined sense of sadness and gratitude.

On Good Friday we gathered at a fire pit to read the Good Friday story. It was powerful to listen to the words of Scripture read to us and then sit in silence and reflect. The Lord was present in our midst. We shared communion as the sun set. Then continued in fellowship, getting closer to the fire to stay warm, as we ate a meal together.

“On the morning of Good Friday I woke up to a video message from two of our grandchildren aged 4 and 2. They had been acting out the death and resurrection of Jesus – repeatedly! Apparently the video clip was the 5th time in a row!!

They stood on the bed next to each other with their arms outstretched and cried out, ‘It is finished’ and dropped their heads to their chests.

Then their Daddy picked them both up in his arms and carried them to the ‘tomb’ (the walk in closet). And 5 seconds later they burst out of the door shouting ‘He is risen, Hallelujah!’ 

It made me laugh, and then cry, and then pray. How precious that these children are growing up knowing the power of the cross, not because they have lots of head knowledge or book learning (yet) but because they have the faith of a child. Their parents are showing them the spiritual disciplines as they read scripture, pray, and point to Jesus everywhere. And the Holy Spirit in them is teaching them the Truth of the Gospel.  

May we all find ourselves in encounters with Jesus today that demonstrate the depth of his love. May we experience the power of his Spirit who overcomes death, sets us free to live every day in the fullness of life with Him, and makes us bold to share the Good News with everyone we meet.”

Roberta, was driving to Omagh, Co.Tyrone, Ireland to play in St Columba’s on Easter morning when she saw a rainbow over the town. She got her junior high school daughter to take the photo above. She was surprised later to see the cross front and centre! What a start to Easter morning! 

We traditionally camp out at for Easter weekend. I miss the services at my own church, but look forward to sunrise service near where we camp. Just talking about the sunrise service gets folks to talking about Jesus. We have to leave camp at 6:00 am to get to the host ranch on time. This year only my great niece and I went. We headed out at dark on windy country roads. It was a wonderful service because the Holy Spirit was abundantly there. We were blessed. Praise the Lord!!

On Easter Sunday we gathered at the local park to wait on the sunrise. The midst was rising from the grass, and the cloud hid the sun from us. But the birds were singing the praises of God in their dawn chorus, light pushed through the clouds and the risen Jesus joined us as met to share scripture, sing praises and celebrate communion.

Inspire House Church

Tulsa, OK, USA
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