As we continue our Lenten journey into April, culminating on Easter Sunday, we have joined with millions of other Christians throughout the world from multiple denominations participating in many of the Lenten practices. On an individual basis, we have done Lenten devotionals, increased our prayer time, read our Bible more frequently, fasted, and meditated on those spiritual things that will help guide us in repentance and in changing our life, as we continue to allow Jesus to move more closely to us as we walk together with Him. On a corporate basis, we have had additional opportunities in which to gather in Sunday School, worship, and glorifying God. We have also taken the opportunity to give thanks to God for giving us Jesus, our Blessed Savior, and bringing the Holy Spirit into our everyday lives as the Spirit guides us in living our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
As we approach the last part of the Forty Days of Lent, there will be many additional opportunities for us to continue our journey with Jesus. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, April 10th, and the Claybanks United Methodist Church will honor Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as we process with palm branches and focus our worship service on shouting “Hosanna in the highest,” as Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem. Holy Week continues with our participation as we recognize Christ in the Last Supper on Holy Thursday (April 14th). This year I want to encourage the Claybanks Family to join together for a meal at the White Lake Praise Center (the former Whitehall United Methodist Church building) for a meal at 6:00 PM as we participate in the weekly Thursday night “Gathering Meal” provided for the White Lake area community. At 7:00 PM we will move to the sanctuary for a Holy Thursday Worship Service. Following our Holy Thursday remembrance, we will have the opportunity to gather at the Claybanks United Methodist Church at 2:00 PM for our Good Friday Service (April 15th). On Easter Sunday (April 17th) we will gather at the Claybanks United Methodist Church at 9:30 AM for a short outdoor (weather permitting) visit to the Empty Tomb. At 9:45 AM the Claybanks United Methodist Women will be serving a light breakfast for our church family and guests. Then, at 10:30 AM we will enter together into the sanctuary as we bring the Christ Candle into our worship and celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
The Lenten season officially ends on Easter Sunday, yet we will continue our journey as disciples with a celebration of joy and humor in our worship service on Sunday, April 24th which is the Sunday following Easter. On Sunday, May 8th, Mother’s Day, Edie Bogart, and I will be presenting a message together during our worship service highlighting influential women in scripture and leaders in developing our Christian faith. On Sunday, May 15th, Tim Foley, Director of Love In The Name Of Christ, will be with us bringing a message of sharing and mission during our worship service. On Sunday, May 29th, we will honor Christ’s Ascension followed by Pentecost Sunday on June the 5th.
It is the prayer and hope of your Claybanks Worship Design Team, the Claybanks Administrative Council, its committees and myself as your pastor, that the Lenten journey we have been on and the many other worship opportunities that we will have following Lent in the coming months will become the strengthening guideposts we will use as we walk hand in hand with Jesus in our Christian Journey, living a life with God’s grace, and being guided by the flame of the Holy Spirit.