Last year we launched a new tradition at HCBC. Pastor Steve and I both felt burdened about the lack of attention and focus on the Easter season. Many churches place a huge emphasis on Christmastime and can spend up to a month, if not longer, centering corporate worship, sermons, and church activities around that season. I’m not opposed to that in the least. However, we have felt that in addition to whatever focus we put on Christmas, it is very right and appropriate to increase our attention towards how HCBC worships during this season as well.
As significant as Christmas is, Christmas was not an end unto itself. The reason Jesus was born in Bethlehem was to bleed on Golgotha. He was laid in a manger for the purpose of, later on, having His body laid in a tomb. He descended to earth as a lowly Man so He could later on rise triumphantly from the grave. The whole purpose of Christmas is Easter.
For this reason, Pastor Steve and I are eager to continue our new tradition of expanding opportunities for corporate prayer and worship, preaching, teaching, and encouraging HCBC families to have times of personal and/or family worship in their homes which revolves specifically around the events we remember during Holy Week.
Here is the HCBC Holy Week schedule, followed by some resources you can use personally or with your family during Holy Week. (Please note that due to the additional worship services we are adding during Holy Week, we will not be having our regular community groups during that time.)
Sunday Morning, April 9th, – Palm Sunday Worship Celebration, 9:30am-12pm. Sunday School at 9:30. Corporate Worship at 10:45. Pastor Steve and I decided that for Palm Sunday we will NOT break from our current sermon series, as the whole theme of Galatians is deeply connected and relevant to the meaning of Palm Sunday and all of Holy Week.
Sunday Evening, April 9th – Men’s Prayer, Holy Week Focus, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Last month’s men’s prayer gathering was one of our largest ever. It was a beautiful time of unity and fellowship. For this prayer time, we will be looking at and praying through Scriptures that are directly associated with Holy Week and Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
Thursday Evening, April 13th – Maundy Thursday Service w/Communion, 7pm-8pm.
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word where we get our English word “command” or “mandate” from. Jesus gave a special mandate the evening before He was crucified, that we would love one another as Jesus loves us. (John 13:33-34). In addition to a time of worship through singing, Pastor Demer will deliver a brief sermon followed by the Lord’s Supper.
Friday Evening, April 14th – Good Friday Service, 7pm-8pm. We will spend time worshipping through song, followed by several of the HCBC men sharing brief moments of teaching based on Jesus’ seven final sayings from the cross.
Saturday Morning, April 15th – Easter Caroling, 2pm-2:30pm at Rose of Sharon Nursing Home in Dacula, 971 Harbins Rd, Dacula, GA. – Join us for a time of ministering to the residents and staff as we sing hymns, read Scripture, and share gifts in Jesus’ name.
Sunday Morning, April 16th – Easter Service, Resurrection Sunday, 9:30am-12pm – Join us as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s triumph over the grave and the powers of darkness!
And finally, here are some great Holy Week resources for you and your family from Desiring God Ministries.
Love to the Uttermost, Devotional Readings for Holy Week by John Piper–This free devotional begins on Palm Sunday, ends on Easter Sunday, and aims to focus our attention on Jesus as he displays his love to the uttermost (John 13:1). These meditations on the self-giving love of Christ are all excerpted from the preaching and writing ministry of John Piper.
Five Helps for Your Holy Week- This link features five of Desiring God’s best articles related to the Easter season. Topics include a “Theology of Resurrection”, “Was Jesus Really Crucified?”, and 8 reasons why the Resurrection of Jesus is an historically reliable fact.
Your Sorrow Will Turn To Joy, Morning and Evening Meditations for Holy Week– For this free devotional, Desiring God has assembled a team of eleven pastors and scholars to walk us through Holy Week as we walk together with our Lord. This collection of short meditations includes readings for each morning and evening from Palm Sunday to the triumph of Easter.
A Theater Called Holy Week – Tony Reinke prepares us for Holy Week in his brief article highlighting John 12:27-33
Make Holy Week Holy to the Lord – The week between Palm Sunday and Easter is not intrinsically holy, except that all time is holy, since it belongs to God. But we can make it holy by setting it apart for sacred focus. This link gives you the Scriptures from the 4 gospels that record Jesus’ final hours. Consider using these Scriptures to supplement your daily time in the Scriptures this week.
It is my prayer that HCBC’s Holy Week focus will be a blessing as it helps you and your family turn your eyes all the more to the sufferings and triumph of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Grace and Peace,