Archive for the ‘Lent’ Category

holy-week

We are now into what many around the world call Holy Week. Holy week is the last week of Lent and is when remember the last week of Jesus’ life.

As Easter is one of the most important times in the Christian calendar, many churches will hold various services this week.

Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, is followed by Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and then Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

 

If you hear the term Holy Week, what do you think of?

For those of you who don’t know what Holy Week is, here’s some details:

holy-week

The last week of Lent is known as Holy Week, and this is when Christians particularly, remember the last week of Jesus’ life – It is therefore the week which concludes with Good Friday. i.e. Easter Friday.

Easter is one of the most important times in the Christian calendar, and therefore many churches will hold various services during this week.

Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter, and it is so-called because it celebrates Jesus arriving into Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the people there lay down their cloaks and mall branches in front of him to pave his triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Psalm 118:26-29 (The Message)

Blessed are you who enter in God’s name — from God’s house we bless you!
God is God, he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands, hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you.
O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.
His love never quits!

Romans 6:3-5 (The Message)

That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

It can be Easter every day of year if only we would say “yes” to God. In my blog post a few weeks ago called Lent I spoke about how at this time of year we think about rededicating our life to God. But we shouldn’t limit the opportunity to restart our relationship with God, to Lent, or indeed to Easter. We should be rededicating our life’s to God every day of every year.

This Easter as we remember how much Jesus gave up just for us, consider your own life and whether you have truly given your all to God. If you haven’t given your all to God, please consider doing so today as we particularly remember Jesus’ resurrection.

1 Peter 1:3 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

When you give your life to God, your life will be changed for the better as God will be with you in everything you do.

Why should we give ourselves to God? Because He loved us so much that He sent His only son to earth to die on a cross so that we could be forgiven of all our sins.

I was truly blessed by the following song See His Love by Tim Hughes, I hope you receive blessing from it too.

See His Love by Tim Hughes

See His love nailed onto a cross
Perfect and blameless life given as sacrifice
See Him there all in the name of love
Broken yet glorious, all for the sake of us

This is Jesus in His glory
King of Heaven dying for me
It is finished, He has done it
Death is beaten, Heaven beckons me

Greater love no one could ever show
Mercy so undeserved, freedom I should not know
All my sin, all of my hidden shame
Died with Him on the cross, eternity won for us

Such love, such love
Such love is this for me

The following are the words from the chorus of  Twila Paris’ song Small Sacrifice:

What can You do with this gift of mine…
So insignificant, so unrefined.
What can You do with a simple girl.
You can change the world.
You can change the world.
With one small sacrifice.
I give You all my love.
I give You all my life.
A token for a prize.
It never could be worth the honor You deserve.
It’s one small sacrifice.

Wow! It’s such a great reminder to each of us that although our talents or gifts may be small, God can use them all. God can use every one of us to help change the lives of others…to help change the world!

To allow God to use our talents or gift we must give them all to God as our sacrifice to Him. God wants and needs us to give Him ourselves as a living sacrifice. After all God gave the ultimate sacrifice for us, so ourselves to Him as a sacrifice is surely a reasonable repayment for God.

I hope you enjoy Small Sacrifice by Twila Paris as much as I do:

Give God the sacrifice He wants…give yourself to Him today.

Yesterday was the start of Lent, so in yesterday’s blog post called Lent I told you what Lent is and why it we celebrate it. Now today I want to focus on the things we give up for Lent.

As I said yesterday, Lent is all about personal sacrifice and in turn helping others, so whatever we “give up” should be something that is important to us or that we enjoy. So based on that what sort of things could we consider to “give up” for Lent?

Well here’s some things that are being “given up” this Lent by people I know:

As you can see even for these few examples, a hugs variety of things can be “given up” for Lent. However the most important thing to remember when deciding what to “give up” for Lent, is that it must be something that matters to you. i.e. There’s no point in saying you’re going to give up drinking coffee if you only drink one cup of coffee as day, as you’re not really denying yourself something you will really miss. On the other hand , if you drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day, giving up coffee for Lent would be a sacrifice for you.

Me, I’m giving up chocolate for lent, as chocolate has always been my comfort food, and as this years has been quite stressful for me so far, I will most certainly miss my chocolate in the next few weeks!

How about you, what are you giving up for lent? Is it really something that you will miss, or are you just giving it up as a token gesture?

Sacrifice by  Tree63

Before Your people worshipped You
You said that something had to die
And as they brought their sacrifice You heard their cries

Before Your children could come home
You said that something had to die
And as You brought Your sacrifice
We heard You cry

You know what it’s like to give it up
You know how it feels to let go
You know what it’s like to take it forget forsake it
To raise Your head and cry

It’s all for You
(Father) It’s all for You
I live for You
(Father) I die for You

I know that You can hear my voice
Because Your servant paid the price
But there is silence in my mouth and I can’t cry

So as I come to worship You
I know that something has to die
And as I bring my sacrifice just let it die

You know what it’s like against Your skin
You know how it feels beneath Your hands
You know how it is to carry so rough and heavy
And underneath to cry

In a Christian environment, Lent normally starts on Ash Wednesday and continues through to the Holy Sunday of Easter. The dates of Lent can vary each year, just as the actual dates of Easter can vary.
 
Traditionally during Lent, people give-up something as a sort of sacrifice for Jesus. i.e. A way to prepare the person/believer for Easter, which of course is the time when Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus and then celebrate His subsequent resurrection.
 
During lent, as well as “giving-up” something, it’s also a time of prayer, almsgiving and repentance, and giving to those who are in need.
 
Just because it’s a time of giving something up and helping those in need, it doesn’t mean that Lent should be a time of suffering and unhappiness for us. Instead we should, through prayer and repentance, show our thanks to God for all He has provided for us – After all Jesus gave the ultimate price for us, He died on the cross, just so we might live the kind of life that we do.
 
Maybe our Christian life has become stagnant and a chore. If so I’d encourage you to take the opportunity this Lent to rededicate your life to God – Make this Lent a new start in your Christian journey.
 
I hope you enjoy the following video of Sydney Staff Songsters singing The End of the Beginning: