Churches across the world celebrated Palm Sunday, this past weekend, in remembrance of when Jesus entered Jerusalem. The gospel of Mark tells us that as Jesus came into Jerusalem, people threw done their clothes and palm branches and began to shout... “Hosanna (save now)! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9-10)
This coming weekend...churches once again will celebrate, this time, in remembrance of Jesus’ resurrection. Church attendance will be at one of its highest times, aside from Christmas. For the believer, it indeed is a glorious celebration, for death could not hold Him down. Jesus conquered the grave and made a way for us to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. For the unbeliever, it will either be just 1 of the services they attend a year, to feel good about themselves...OR...an opportunity for their life to be changed.
For the past 8 years, I’ve loved working with choirs and putting together special music for our home church. I was very excited and interested in what Easter services were like down here in Mexico. I had already been thinking about what we could do for the masses that would come for church. When I brought it up, I was shocked when I heard what this coming weekend would consist of. Rather then being one of the highest attended church times, it will be one of the lowest. Instead of the pews being packed with believers and unbelievers, the local lake here in Bachiniva will be swarmed with close to 5,000 people, beginning Thursday night. I had to ask again, because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. There are only 2500 people who live in Bachiniva, how in the world will there be 5,000. The Vargas’ began to share that people will come from all over, for a weekend of drinking, partying and fornicating. One year, the normal 5 minute drive from the church to their house, took the Vargas family close to 2 hours, because of traffic. Roads are being fixed, fences are being painted and the whole town is gearing up for this grand ole party.
My heart was so saddened as I heard this. I immediately thought of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, and what he wrote in chapter 5...
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles...”
Paul was basically saying, “...what you guys are doing is so messed up, even the heathens aren’t doing that.” I thought that same thing...at least choose a different weekend to have this drunken party fest. Why reserve it for Easter? However, I realized, that this is the whole reason Jesus came, died and rose again...that the lost might be found. People are perishing all over, especially those that come this weekend and what a tremendous opportunity we have to be a light in this dark community.
Please be praying for the town of Bachiniva and the thousands that will flock here this weekend. Please pray for those who attend our church, that may choose going to the lake over coming to church. Please pray for our church and the special services will be have starting Wednesday night. The Lord desires non to perish, but ALL to come to repentance. So do we and we trust and pray that the Holy Spirit will draw those that need to be here and hear the good news of salvation!
Here is the schedule for this weeks services...
Wednesday Night - Midweek Service We will continue our in-depth study through Psalm 119, and then feed 50-70 people through the soup kitchen. Thursday Night - The Last Supper This will be a time of worship and special message on Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. We will gather afterwards for a potluck and time of fellowship. Friday Night - Good Friday This will be an intimate time of worship, prayer and anointing with oil for the sick. Saturday Night - Special Youth Service Jose Nieves (youth pastor) has invited parents and family to be apart of the youth service to see what takes place at youth group on Saturday nights. Sunday Morning - Easter (Pascua) We have put together a special band and music that will be incorporated throughout the service. Pastor Luis, Jose and myself will each share for about 15 minutes on Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection.
Thank you for your prayers and intercession for us!
"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have no believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).