Wednesday, April 13, 2011

“The Blooming of Spring”

Last week was Holy Week… It was The Masters Golf Tournament! Okay, maybe not the “holy week” you were thinking about! But, to golfers, there is nothing quite like the annual invitational at Augusta National.

I had the privilege of attending a practice round of The Masters several years ago. From the moment I walked through the gates, I was overwhelmed by the aura of the place. Many times what we see or expect does not hold up in reality. That was not the case at Augusta. In fact, reality was even more beautiful.

The course is awash in spring. The blooming of azaleas and a host of other foliage that makes the property a wonderland of nature. And, to top it off, the best golfers in the world gather to compete in arguably the most important tournament in golf.

Again, if you play golf, The Masters is more than just a week of golf or even a tournament. It is an experience.

Okay, Okay… so it is still JUST a golf tournament. And, it is certainly NOT the Holy Week we all know, expect and love. No, that week begins Sunday.

As the Palm Branches begin to wave, we usher in the expectation of a new “blooming of spring”, and another powerful expression of life—we prepare ourselves for Easter—the true “wonderland” of God’s grace, forgiveness and new beginnings.

That Holy Week is more than any human event or endeavor could design. The God of the Universe decided to reach down into our broken lives and journeys and do something about them. He gave His only Son.

Oh… and all of Nature rejoices… as even the rocks, trees and flowers cry out that Christ is Risen, He is risen indeed!

This true HOLY WEEK marks an exciting and meaningful time in the life of our church. We will begin with Services of Healing on Wednesday at both the Fairpoint (6pm) and Soundside (7:30pm) campuses.

Also, on Wednesday, the “Journey to the Cross” begins as you are invited to view the Stations of the Cross and experience the final steps of Jesus in a remarkable and personal way. You can attend the Stations from 9am to 4pm Wednesday through Friday.

On Thursday, from 2pm to 8pm, we will experience the power of the Upper Room in a very new, exciting way, as families and individuals will sit at the seat of a disciple and share Holy Communion as the first disciples would have experienced. This “come and go” gathering will take place in 15 minute shifts.

On Saturday, the Church gathers for our annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10am at Shoreline Park. Families and neighbors are invited to share with hundreds of our church family in a day of fellowship, food and fun.

Finally, we approach the empty tomb with our Second Annual Sunrise Service at Flounders, hosted by the folks at our Worship at the Water Campus. Join us at 6am as we see the sunrise and the SONrise.

Yes, it will be a wonderful week. It will be a memorable week. It will be a powerful week. It will be a HOLY Week.

The blooming of spring is wonderful. The blooming of a heart redeemed… priceless.

Be salt and light, my friends… You Matter.

Shane

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