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Walking with Jesus through the holiest of weeks
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With Sunday’s services, we enter the most intensive and important week of the Christian year.  Palm Sunday anticipates everything by beginning with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ending (at least in churches using the lectionary) with the account of Christ’s betrayal, condemnation, and crucifixion.  For this reason, some Christians also call it “Passion Sunday.”

Those who wait until Easter Sunday to join the celebrations are depriving themselves of tremendous blessings.  Christianity is not a feel-good, sunny-day, pick-and-choose religion.  Whoever tries to live his or her faith that way knows very little of Jesus Christ, who was hardly a nice guy and a fair-weather Messiah.   He came in the midst of oppression and danger as the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed for our redemption.  His glory was dying for us on the Cross, and he said that anyone who would follow him should be prepared for the same: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”

Jesus went on this way: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  (Luke 9:23-26, NIV)

For those who don’t understand what I’m getting at, I recommend watching Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ.  Though not all of his sources for the movie were biblical, we know from Isaiah that the Messiah would suffer to the point of being unrecognizable.  The film reminds us of the price Jesus paid.

This week is full of inspirational activities in all of our churches.  If you’ve been away from prayer, fellowship or attendance at worship, please take the opportunity - and accept the Lord’s invitation! - to get yourself re-connected.

Monday evening also launches the Jewish feast of Passover.  This was the great gathering in Jerusalem at which Jesus offered himself as the Lamb.

For our brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith, the festivities last until Monday the 5th, and culminate with the Passover sacred meal, the Seder.

May your participation in this week bring great blessings to your life.  May you experience, once again - if not for the very first time! - the infinite love with which the Father sent his Son into the world to die for each one of us.

May the Risen Lord meet you on the road as you make your journey in life.

But remember: you’re much more likely to meet him if you step out in faith and get yourself into a place where like-minded people are doing the same.