Funny how one little email can get your heart pounding and then choke you up a little… is it old age that’s making me silly & sentimental, or was I always like this? Don’t answer that! :P
The Easter Lily is just pouring out its heady fragrance–it definitely feels like Holy Week!
Now for yesterday’s sermon notes. Craig sure likes to number-up various things in one sermon, lol. Let’s see if I can get it right… there were three things Paul reminds us of in the passage (the latter part of Phil. 3), seven things Jesus has done for us, and five things we are to do…. (close enough!) :D
He even mentioned a couple of specific things that would be good to do for Holy Week: listen to “The Messiah” (did you know that was actually written for Easter?), and read Isaiah, or at least the Isaiah passages that talk about Jesus. I believe he said his father came to the Lord just through reading Isaiah (was he Jewish? :)) Reminds me how his wife said she became a Christian just from reading the Bible (and not from listening to anyone else), when she was a student at university, I think. Cool!
Anyway, I’m not going to number off all those points for you! Here are the things/reminders that “jumped out” at me (these would be different for others):
- The importance of spiritual growth, which could also be known as “sanctification”; and that with maturity comes scars and limps (as we take up our cross and follow Him).
- Of the five points he mentioned near the end, the first three really go together, to me–that we should press on (Jesus “set his face like flint” towards the path of the Cross), keep our focus, and hold on. All the things that God has done for us in Jesus helps us to do these things, even when one (or two?) stupid decision can plunge us backwards. (This all speaks to our church in particular, these days.)
- The point of “waiting” was mentioned again, especially for Jesus’ return; but it’s important here because it matches something else I’ve been reading–which I will talk about later!
- To sum up: Palm Sunday is a farce, you know that. The people of Jesus’ time were all taken up in it, but they expected Him to become the kind of king who would physically free them from the Romans. A week later their praises changed to “Crucify him! Crucify him!” But Craig talked about “Applied Palm Sunday”; like when you take a college course, and if it’s “applied”, it means you’re learning the more practical, usable aspect of it. So all these points are ways to help us “apply” Palm Sunday.