What another wonderful day we had in the Lord, on Palm Sunday! With just one week until Lent is completed and Easter Sunday, we joined the cheering crowd waving palms declaring:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9b)
What a blessing to share this wonderful moment with so many of you! Not only did we have most of our sickened folks back, but we were blessed with many faces we hadn’t seen in a long time! What a wonderful blessing after such a busy week! This week we experienced Rick E. in the hospital (now been discharged), Bill Warner Sr’s memorial Thu. and Dr. Seaman’s memorial Sat. I was also blessed to pray with Jacob S’s 101-year-old grandma Alma G. What a joy to know we serve a Risen Lord who has overcome sickness and death! Easter’s coming! Hallelujah!
God’s message this week came from Matthew 21:1-11 and was titled, “Living in His Parade.” Have you ever been in a parade? Many of us have and we love those moments when the crowd cheers and we are recognized. But, as Jesus comes riding on a donkey colt the Bible doesn’t tell us about His feelings. Interestingly, we read nothing of His feelings when He is crucified either.
In the crowd celebrating the arrival of Jesus on Palm Sunday were at least two crowds. The first, was cutting off palm branches, laying down coats and declaring in Matthew 21:11 ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” The second crowd were the Pharisees and teachers of the law whom John records saying, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him! (John 12:19b). Earlier, in John 11:48 John gives us an idea of their problem. “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (John 11:48). Well, here we discover the Pharisees’ thought they were the rightful leaders of this parade and they were not about to give it up. The Pharisees didn’t want to lose their place at the front. But Jesus was the true leader. Jesus was unmoved by both those cheering forHim and against Him!
Jesus wasn’t playing to either crowd. The truth is, it wasn’t Jesus’ parade. This parade was God’s parade and Jesus was doing what His Heavenly Father asked Him to do and not at what the crowds shouted! He was focused on His Heavenly Father. Later, sweating drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane He would say, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39b).
As we prepare to end the Lenten journey next week on Easter Sunday I wonder about you? Are your ears still too tuned to the adoration and praise of someone in the crowd? If you are, it is a miserable way to live. Trust me, I know this personally! Perhaps it’s time for some stop wanting to be out front and let Him lead, instead. Give yourself permission to be true to yourselves and true to the God who called you. It isn’t painful. It’s a peaceful place to be.
Yes, there will be days when some in the frenzied, frustrated and fickle crowd around you will want to shout accolades! And, there will be others in the same crowd who will delight in hurling insults and plotting against you. But you can be at rest because…. it’s not your parade anyway. Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
EASTER OFFERING FOR WORLD EVANGELISM FUND – APRIL 16
On Easter Sunday, churches around the world will be participating in receiving an Easter offering for world missions. God’s blessings as you prepare for this offering.
NARRATOR’S NEEDED FOR EASTER CANTATA
If you like to read, like to tell the Easter story, and want to help the choir, please consider being a narrator for this very important day. We need one male and one female narrator. See Bev, Gerry, or Pastor Dan – soon!! (And thanks!)
STILL NEEDED: ONE CHILDREN’S CHURCH TEACHER
Please contact Mary W. to help with this need. While most of the weeks have a teacher and a helper, one more teacher is still needed. Is God calling you to do this?
SOUND BOOTH PERSON NEEDED:
The church is looking for someone who is interested in being a sound booth technician. You will need to be able to attend music practices Sunday morning at 9 AM. Let Janie know if you are interested at 616-204-2499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is April 29 @ 10:30 AM
We will be meeting at Morse’s home for this time of fellowship. Cherry will be getting out maps for those needing directions.
LADIES DAY AT ONU: April 22, $30.00, $10.00 for a box lunch. Join other women for a day of learning, laughter, music and fellowship! For tickets, call 855-98-SHINE or visit iTickets.com. (Box lunches are only available to order through March 31.) Featured will be Missy Robertson from Duck Dynasty and Grayson Reed.
If you are interested in having a Friday night full of laughter, Chonda Pierce, with special guest, Karyn Williams, are at Grand Rapids First Church 5/5. Tickets can be purchased at ticket.com. If anyone is interested, call/text Cherry @ 616-916-7595.
The Michigan District Church of the Nazarene presents:
A MOMENT IN TIME
At the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island on May 28 – May 30, 2017
A Moment in Time is open to all ages of families and individuals. The cost is only $345 per person. Children ages 12-17 are $185 and children birth to age 11 are free.
· Two nights lodging at the historic Grand Hotel
· Two delectable five course dinners
· Two scrumptious breakfasts (choice of menu/breakfast buffet or continental)
· Adult round-trip ferry ride (ages 5-11 are $12)
· All baggage handling
The first non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by March 27th. The balance is due April 22nd. Please see the attached brochure for all of the details!
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2017 WORK & WITNESS PROJECT:
I'm writing to invite you and any members of your church to be a part of the largest Nazarene Work & Witness project called, One Heart - Many Hands Indianapolis 2017! This week-long service project will take place June 18-23. In a recent conversation with Dr. David Downs, the District Superintendent of the West Texas District, it came to my attention that many pastors are under the impression that One Heart - Many Hands (OHMH) projects are just for youth groups. In actuality, OHMH is a Work & Witness project geared for the entire church to participate in. Many churches bring multi generational groups who work on the project and learn from each other. In past General assembly years we have averaged 2000 Nazarenes serving together with OHMH to leave the fingerprints of God all over the General Assembly host city. I'm sure you receive hundreds of emails each year encouraging you and your church to be a part of something… OHMH is a unique Work & Witness project that not only affords your group the opportunity to be involved in missions together but also to experience the Global Church of the Nazarene in a very visible and tangible way as team members participate in the General Assembly services. Would you prayerfully consider encouraging your church to take advantage of this opportunity to serve alongside thousands of Nazarenes this summer in Indianapolis? For more information about this service project please contact our office at email@example.com or visit our website at www.oneheartmanyhands.com. Thank you, George Sisler
GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. or Sherry J.
CHURCH POSTCARDS ARE AVAILABLE!
Is there someone missing or would like to invite to church? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? A simple hand written note blesses everyone! You will find them on the table under the missionary bulletin board in the Annex.
DAILY DEVOTIONS – “REFLECTING GOD” IS AVAILABLE! FREE!!
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available free to anyone interested. The devotions provide a brief truth from the Bible every day. Reflecting God also has a section for reading the Bible in a year and praying for our missionaries! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside the sanctuary!
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER REQUESTS:
Remember, to keep our prayer lists current, we only place requests in the newsletter and bulletin for 3 weeks without an update. If you want to keep your prayer request in the bulletin or newsletter, just keep filling out the tear off tabs and keep us informed!
April 12 Wednesday Service @ 6:30 PM
April 15 Cantata Practice @ 10 AM
April 16 Easter Sunday
April 16 Mission Meeting @ 5 PM
April 22 Ladies Day @ ONU with Missy Robertson & Grayson Reed
May 5 Happily Laughter After Tour with Chonda Pierce at Grand Rapids
May 28 A Moment in Time at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island
June 18-23 General Assembly 2017 Work & Witness Project