Two years ago, due to an increasing burden the HCBC pastors had over the lack of attention and focus on the Easter season (especially compared to Christmas) we launched a new tradition. To help enhance your Easter worship, we deemed it right and good to formally observe Holy Week and encourage all of our members to do the same.
As significant as Christmas is, it is 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 having His body laid in a tomb. He descended to earth as a lowly Man so that He could later rise triumphantly from the grave. The whole purpose of Christmas is Easter.
For this reason, Pastor Jeff and I are eager to continue our Holy Week tradition by providing additional opportunities for corporate worship, as well as 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.
Holy week is March 25th-April 1st. Below 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, March 25th, – Palm Sunday. Sunday School at 9:30. Corporate Worship at 10:45. We all want to have a fruitful life, and the reason Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday was to die on Good Friday so that He might bear much fruit through you! On Palm Sunday we’ll continue our sermon series, “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ” by considering Jesus’ metaphor of the Vine and the Branches in John 15. Following the service stick around for our fellowship meal and games!
Thursday night, March 29th – 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 night, March 30th – Good Friday Service, 7pm-8pm.
John 3:16 is perhaps the most popular verse in the Bible. Certainly it captures the essence of what Good Friday is all about. In addition to a time of worship through song, Pastor Demer will share a gospel-centered message anchored in this beloved verse.
Resurrection Sunday, April 1st – Easter Service, Sunday School at 9:30am, Corporate Worship at 10:45am- Join us as we celebrate Jesus Christ’s triumph over the grave and the powers of darkness! Following the service come out to Harbins Park for a picnic. Bring lunch for your family and meet us at the pavilion closest to the playground (just up the little hill). This is located at the 2nd entrance to Harbins Park and it’s the same place that we met last year.
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,