Really, just one question.
What are you doing as a congregation to celebrate Passion Week and offer the gospel to your community?
In my interim we are doing Maundy Thursday with drama before and after the Lord’s Supper. Everything is based upon John 13-18. Easter Sunday we are adding one service and changing times of services. This will facilitate our being able to focus upon new comers for Easter Sunday. This is a stretch because Thursday is significant school activities. Go with the secular flow or worship? We chose worship and we have several involved in the community activities. We are not browbeating or judging anyone, but just offering the opportunity.
On Sunday the two services will have children’s worship simultaneous with the other worship services. Between services we will have coffee and refreshments. Several new things are being added. We are focusing upon new people and pray God will give many new friends with whom to share the gospel and know over the next few months.
The comment section can serve as an opportunity for you to share what your congregation is doing. Perhaps your activities will help someone else with a fresh idea next year. God bless.
No news to you, but Sunday is Palm Sunday, which begins what the Christian Church calls either “Passion Week” or “Holy Week”. This week moves from the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ron Barker is with the Evangelism section of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Ron sends out an email (R-Gram) to those who choose to subscribe. If you wish to subscribe you may email Ron and request he send the newsletter to you. It is weekly and free. The email to subscribe is email@example.com. In that R-Gram he gives the chronology of events in the six trials of Jesus. I share this with you in the spirit of passing on what a friend has shared with me to help with your personal study and preaching.
Event Approximate Time
- Prayer and agony at Gethsemane (Synoptic gospels) 1:00 a.m.
- Betrayal by Judas and arrest of Jesus (Mk. 14:43-46; John 18:12) 1:30 a.m.
- Irregular, unauthorized inquiry at Anna’s residence (Jn. 18:13-23) 2:00 a.m.
- Unofficial trial at Caiaphas’s residence (Matt. 26:57-68; John 18:24) 3:00 a.m.
- Formal, official trial before Sanhedrin in their chamber to confirm capital sentence (Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71) 6:00 a.m. (“when it was day”)
- First interrogation by Pilate at official residence (Mt. 27:1-2; 11-14; Lk. 23:1-7; John 18:28-38) 6:30 a.m. (“when morning had come…and it was early”)
- Audience/mockery before Herod (Luke 28:8-12) 7:00 a.m.
- Final judgment of Pilate (All Gospels) 7:30 a.m.
- Scourging in Praetorium (All Gospels) 8:00 a.m.
- Nailing of hand and feet to the cross (All Gospels) 9:00 a.m. (“it was the third hour”)
- Darkness (Matthew, Mark, Luke) 12:00 noon (“when the sixth hour had come, darkness fell”)
- Death of Jesus (all Gospels) 3:00 p.m. (“and at the ninth hour”)
In less than twenty-four hours, Jesus goes from arrest to execution!
We are praying God will bless each of you with the anointing of the Holy Spirit as you prepare both the messages and the messenger for this important time in your ministry.
Pastor, what are you preaching as you approach Easter? What is the Gospel?
Ed Stetzer blogs each Monday on Missiology. You may read this past Monday’s post here. Ed points out that “With the rise of fundamentalism in the 1920s, the Social Gospel’s counteraction began with painting salvation, not just as transformation in individuals, but increasingly as the annihilation of distorted and prejudiced structures. This trend was evident until a new era of confidence was birthed in the 1960s, ushered in particularly via J.C. Hoekendijk.”
The Liberation Theology movement was fueled by such thought. I recall a D.Min. seminar at SWBTS in the early ’80′s in which the professor, a former missionary to a nation in S. America, extolled the virtues of Liberation Theology. I thought it interesting that because of the way in which the grading period fell, grades were issues prior to our one assignment being completed. We compared grades. Those who had agreed with this professor were given A’s and those who disagreed (myself among these) were given B’s. Later I witnessed the destruction of Liberation Theology in the nation of El Salvador.
Does the Gospel definition include changing the structures of society? Many of them need to be changed. They are oppressive at best.
Are justice issues included in the biblical definition of the Gospel? Is the Gospel more than what we call the plan of salvation (i.e, tracts, etc.)?
It is a question to those of us who preach. What is the Gospel? What are you preaching and how will you preach it on that one day of the year when more people attend public worship services than any other day of the year?