This week I am mindful of the calendar as I have so many things to celebrate and remember this week. Palm Sunday, Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Holocaust Remembrance Day and the lives of good people worth learning about like Margaret Thatcher. We read the story of Jesus coming into Jerusalem and His prayer “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:28 NIV) I think about Psalm 91 with a similar word picture of being hidden under the wings of God.
Passover begins tonight April 8th and it is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Two very important days to tell stories and prepare to remember. My children would help me clean the house in preparation as we read the story of Exodus and look for parallels to our present day. It seems to me that we still need to be freed from the slavery of sin.
In these past few months, I have read people discussing how we as individuals and even nationally, essentially worship celebrities from sports, movies, musicians and all of these venues have been closed down as we socially distance ourselves. What does God say about who we are to worship? Something to discuss for sure! Perhaps there are other things that we still idolize in our days even if we are home. Something to think about again and again. I think about “If my people, which are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV) I think the time to do this is now. Our family is thinking and talking about this as we read through the Bible and asking God to show us our sin as we pray for our family, our community, state, country and world. It is easy to look at other people and notice their sin but so much more difficult to notice our own. The Children of Israel had to learn to trust God to be lead out of Egypt and slavery. Jesus trusted God’s plan to be the atoning sacrifice for our sin as He died, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV). We are learning to trust God too in the challenges we face in our time.
I delight to teach little ones the songs we sing ahead of time so that they can joyfully sing along too. I make rhythm instruments so that they may play along too and “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”. Little people can also “serve the LORD with joy and gladness” they can “enter His gates with thanksgiving in their hearts and into His courts with praise.” “We will say this is the day that the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!”
Easter is on April 12th. “Up from the grave He arose! With a mighty triumph ‘or His foes. He arose the victor of the dark domain and He lives forever with the saints to reign! “ My plan is for our family to gather together and sing songs of hope and deliverance. We may even do some dancing! We will join in worship on-line with Camano Chapel, make our dinner with our favorite recipes, play games and talk on the phone. https://www.camanochapel.org/worship/sermon-video/
This morning I found myself singing this song by Larry Norman, “Sing me that sweet sweet song of salvation. And let your laughter fill the air. Sing me that sweet, sweet song of salvation and tell the people everywhere. Sing me that sweet, sweet song of salvation to every man and every nation. Sing me that sweet, sweet song of salvation and let the people know that Jesus cares!”
This is a poem I made up for my children:
Oh happy Day! (clap your hands)
Jesus washed my sins away! (pretend that you are washing your hands)
He made my heart as white as snow, (point to your heart)
So His love in me can grow! (squat down, hug yourself and jump up as if you are growing)
Regardless of what is going on around us, I have heard fear referred to as “false expectations appearing real”. I want to focus on faith. “Fearless affirmations in truth (and) hope”. God’s salvation is untouchable by anything that is going on in the world. I hope you are looking for this hope as you prepare for this remembrance of Jesus Christ being raised from the dead. Another song I like to sing, “Jesus is coming back to stay. Could be any time of day. Jesus is coming back I know. The Holy Bible tells me so.” God always keeps His promises! I choose to focus on the truth of God’s Word and I hope you will join me! How are you going to be celebrating this week? What are some of your favorite stories of the season? Do you have a favorite song(s) you like to sing? I’d be delighted to hear about them!