This will probably be the weirdest Holy Week most of us have lived through. Some of us are used to many services during much of the week culminating on Sunday with an Easter Sunday service of rejoicing that Jesus has risen. For those of us who don’t live by the liturgical calendar, Holy Week may not be as thoroughly detailed in term of services. We have some extra services, but not as many as those who are more liturgical. The thing all of us have in common however, is that we have a number of communal events at this time of year. Often there is an extra service of communion during that week (Maundy Thursday), sometimes a Good Friday Service and finally an Easter service.
This year, we won’t have those services. There won’t be an in-person communion service. In fact, we have been missing communion during our services recently. (Ours happens to be monthly.)
Does not being able to meet together cause us to lose something? Do we miss out on a part of our worship experience?
Yes, in many ways we certainly do miss out on the corporate worship experience. There is power and encouragement that comes from singing together as a group, reading GOD’s Word together, praying together and hearing GOD’s Word preached together. I know we have been feeling it for sure. We also know we are not alone. This isn’t a hopeless loss.
There is something encouraging about seeing each other there at church, coming together to greet each other, welcome one another and hug each other. Those in-person embraces often feel like they have come from Jesus. They are all things we take for granted…until they are taken from us. Then we realize what we are missing.
Right now, you may not have the in-person hugs that give you the feel of GOD’s embrace of you. You may live alone or with someone who is unable to spontaneously embrace you. You may have to trust the truth of GOD’s Word because you don’t have someone in person right now to embrace you safely. Then remember these words…because they are so true.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
and hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood,
much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:1-11 ESV
GOD embraced us in the middle of our need and paid for our sin. We no longer need to suffer from guilt anymore. It is finished. #lonelynothopeless, #frominvisibletoembraced, #holyweek, #marthagrimmbrady Click To Tweet
The joyful news of Easter is that our sin and guilt are paid for and forgiven fully. GOD loved us while we were sinners. He embraced us in the middle of our need and redeemed us.
The basis for our ability to come confidently to GOD is that Christ did a work for us on the cross over 2000 years ago that provided a way for us to stand in His presence. It is not based our personal abilities or accomplishments. It is solely based on the work He did for us…a work we were unable to do. Only He was able to pay completely for all of our sin. Only He was able to present a clean record for us to GOD the Father. He took on Himself our sinful record and gave us His perfect, sinless record.
This is the week we remember it once again in an anniversary kind of way. If there is any proof of GOD’s love and embrace of us, it is seen in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection! Hallelujah!