I am still basking in the glow of our worship experience together last Sunday. We agreed to partner with Taylor and Taylor Rose to raise their newborn daughter, Carson Rose, in Christian faith. It was, then, a fitting Sunday for two of our youth – Fletcher Pierce and Camille Pierce – to come forward, make professions of faith, and request baptism on Easter Sunday. During our time together, I reminded our congregation, as I have before, how fortunate we are to have such a sizeable group of young persons in our fellowship – babies, children, youth, and more babies on the way! And I asked all our parents to renew their commitment to raising their children in the church of Jesus the Christ. We all have a divine directive to pass on our Christian hope to the next generation. I am reminded of Jesus’ words, “From everyone to whom much is given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48 – NRSV) We have been given much here at First Baptist.
As we approach Holy Week, I would like to extend a similar challenge to our entire congregation that I extended to the parents of our young persons on Sunday. I would like to ask all of us to renew our commitment to the church of Jesus the Christ. Perhaps you are a member of First Baptist but have not participated in the life of the church for a long time. Holy Week presents a wonderful opportunity to come back to the church. Perhaps you are disappointed in yourself because you have allowed “the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things” to weaken your once strong commitment to the church. (Mark 4:19) Holy Week presents a wonderful opportunity to renew your more fervent involvement. Perhaps you are curious about the claims of Christianity and would like to investigate a bit. Holy Week presents a wonderful opportunity to seek after Christ. Perhaps you are a faithful participant in the life of our church and you have been for years. Nonetheless, you sense that you have become a bit dry in your daily walk with God through Christ. Holy Week presents a wonderful opportunity to rejuvenate a faith that has become rather lackluster.
Holy Week begins this Sunday with Palm Sunday. In worship, the children will assist as we consider Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem for the beginning of the last week of his life. Later in the week we will gather, in the fellowship hall, for a Maundy Thursday meal and communion. On Good Friday we will experience the beauty and tragedy of the Tenebrae service. After walking with Jesus through the last week of his life, we will gather on Easter Sunday to proclaim his resurrection from the dead. Halleluiah!
I know that we are a busy people. I understand that life does not stop during Holy Week. However, I also know that we manage to find a way to do those things that matter most. I suggest that what God has done for us through Jesus the Christ should be in the category of things that matter most. If this is not the case in your life, will you consider renewing your commitment to the church of Jesus the Christ? Holy Week presents us with a wonderful opportunity to do so.