Holy Week has evaporated very quickly or so it seems to me. These are certainly "odd & unique" days in which we are living. It seems to me that our nation is almost in a state of paralysis which has been brought on by the appearance of Covid-19. This invisible enemy has attacked our land and each decision that we make is dictated and somewhat controlled by the activity of this enemy. We must be on guard and not allow this enemy to attack our soul during this special time in our "spiritual calendar." I want my soul to be "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." I want my "spiritual immune" system to ward off the attempts of the enemy to thwart my faith and trust in God. I would like to share a portion of a letter that I shared with the New River Worship Center family this week. I pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened by what I felt led to to share.
Psalm 46:4-5, “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.” (NKJV)
I have referenced Psalm 46 & Psalm 91 many times in prayer and my personal times of meditation over the past few weeks of this unique journey of life. I have found comfort, strength and hope in the words written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These are the times in which God is calling us to look to Him to be the Provider of all that we need. We should believe that promise all of the time yet we don’t. It is easy to rely on our own abilities or the abilities of others but it is during challenging times such as these that we lean more heavily on the presence of God! I believe that EACH OF US needs to allow God to teach us the lesson or lessons that He is seeking to reveal to us. We need to become students and look to the Master Teacher for the wisdom and guidance that we need.
This is the first Holy Week in Christian history to be observed primarily online. From live streamed services at the Vatican to video sermons recorded and shared on cell phones, Christians and Christian churches all over the world are meeting virtually these days. Many of us are missing the opportunities of gathering with our “church family” in corporate worship. I am praying that those feelings will still burn in our hearts when the church doors are open once again for corporate worship and fellowship. Sadly, many of us don’t think of the blessing of some things until they are removed from our lives. I was blessed by these words that Phillip Yancey declared; “God goes where he’s wanted.” Our wanting more of God must go deeper than just words; it must become the cry of our hearts.
There is no recorded activity of Jesus on Wednesday during Holy Week. But the Psalmist David reminded us that “God is in the midst” of His people. You cannot quarantine God to a specific location or stop Him for doing His work in our lives. He is in the midst of two or three who gather together in His name. The activities of Easter have been put on hold to a certain extent. The services that churches had scheduled will either be postponed or shared via social media. But I was reminded of something this morning in prayer; “The opportunity of worship and interaction with God does not have to be rescheduled or limited to a time of viewing a service on social media. God can be worshiped any time and in any place if we would just turn our hearts toward Him!” We can take these difficult days and turn them into days of prayer, praise, and worship to the Savior who gave His life on Calvary for the sins of humanity. Holy week was never about new clothes, colored eggs, large meals, etc. Holy week was a time in which Jesus was preparing to offer His life on the cross so that men and women such as you and me would be forgiven, redeemed, restored and adopted into the family of God. “OH WHAT A SAVIOR!!!” Doesn’t He deserve our sincere attention and adoration?
Desmond Tutu: "Easter says to us that despite everything to the contrary, his will for us will prevail, love will prevail over hate, justice over injustice and oppression, peace over exploitation and bitterness." Easter this year will look a bit different, but we will not let that stand in the way of our celebration of Christ’s victory. Let us take this opportunity realize that God is able to reveal “His light in the midst of our darkness.” I encourage each of us to claim the promises of Isaiah 61:3, “To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (NKJV)