Traditionally the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday has been called Holy Week.
I don’t like that term.
I know why some churches use that term… this is a particularly special week in the fulfilment of prophecies of the Messiah.
The gospels have been leading up to this week.
There is so much that happens.
In another sense, this week is no more holy than any other week.
Because all time belongs to God.
This week is often a time for families to be together, to celebrate the resurrection.
This year everything is different.
No Palm Sunday – Kids standing shoulder to shoulder waving palms on Palm Sunday? That could get you arrested.
No Maundy Thursday – Eating together, foot washing? Are you kidding?
No community Good Friday service – sharing communion together with 400 other people – No way!
No Easter Sunday celebration – it’s not going to happen.
It feels like Psalm 137Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem
I know you thought of this song…
So what are we going to do this year? It’s not all planned out in detail yet, but here are the basics.
Everything will be posted here at OCCWeb.org.
Palm Sunday – we will post a short message, some kids worship songs, some prayer direction and some direction for reflection.
Daily – there will be a scripture reading (longer than the verse or two that we have been posting)
Daily – a guided reflection on the passage
Several times – some OCCKids & OCCYouth activities
Maundy Thursday – an activity, as well as a way to share in communion – we may do this as a community using zoom.
Good Friday – a guided reflection on the meaning of the cross
Easter Sunday – a hat lady story, celebration songs, and a short message
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
God, the one and only—
I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.
My help and glory are in God
—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;
lay your lives on the line for him.
God is a safe place to be.
those at OCC & in our family and friendship circles with health needs
those at OCC & in our family and friendship circles with anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles
for all of those who are working in the health care field
for those who are still working retail, so the rest of us can get the supplies we need
for those who are learning to work from home, especially those who are learning to homeschool at the same time
for children whose lives are being changed
The Normal Christian Life… a way of living
How do you understand the connection or the relationship between what we believe and how we live?
Some of the areas that the NT addresses include
Putting off the old: Ephesians 4:22-24 MSG
Putting on new ways of living: Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
Living in right relationships: within our families, within the community of faith, & with our neighbours & with the authorities: Ephesians 5:21, 22, 25, 6:1, Romans 12:9-10, Colossians 4:5-6, Peter 2:13-14
Being watchful: 1 Peter 5:8
In these days are we…
listening to the voices of others more than God?
listening more to Facebook memes than God?
aware of what’s going on in our lives & in the lives of people around us?
listening for the nudge of God’s Spirit?
Who are the people around you who need reaching out to you in this season? Are you connecting with them? Making some phone calls?
Who are the people the Holy Spirit is nudging you… “give them a call… see if they need anything… find out how they are doing… do they need some encouragement, someone to talk to.“
All of this is part of the normal way of life for followers of Jesus, all of the time, but especially in a time that is anything but normal.
Let me suggest 2 things:
Ask the question posted above… and then give someone or 2 or 3 a call.
Join us 29 March @ 6:30pm for a zoom room prayer time.
If you didn’t read the recommended passages last week, let me encourage to read (or re-read) some of Jesus’ teaching on how to live in the way of God: the sermon on the mount – Matthew 5-7, and the last supper discourse – John 14-16. There is so much there in describing how we are to live.
Expenses at OCC continue. The Leadership Team at OCC wants to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the ministry of OCC.
There are several ways you can give during this time:
You can drop your offering off at the OCC building, either when there is someone in the building or through the mail slot (in the front glass panel, nearest to the driveway).
You can mail your offering to
64 Colborne St E
Orillia, ON, L3V 1T6
You can give by e-transfer. Use the following email address when using e-transfer for your offering: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully you are finally getting into a routine at home with your kids now that we have done a couple of weeks of physical distancing. I am really praying for some warmer weather to finish melting the last of the snow so that we can enjoy our whole backyard.
My kids did a couple of FaceTime conversations this week with some of our family and their friends which really helped, especially for Nathan. I would encourage you, if that is an option for you and your family, to take advantage of our technology so that they still have that social interaction with their friends (Google Duo is another option).
This week the topic is God’s forgiveness and I am praying you will have some great conversations at home with your children.