Easter is the time of year when Christians celebrate both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The final week before the Easter weekend is called Holy Week and starts on Palm Sunday when we remember that Jesus finally arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey.
Here are a few suggestions for how you might celebrate and journey through Holy week this year:
Palm Sunday 9th April – Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. Meeting Jesus should make us want to shout and sing and wave our Palm branches! Celebrate by putting up some bunting and fairy lights.
Monday 10th April – Jesus went to the temple to pray. Find a quiet place where you can spend some time praying and thanking God for all the good things in your life.
Tuesday 11th April – Jesus continued to teach his friends about God and how they should live, even though he knew people were out to get him. Come along and share a Jewish Passover supper with us in Long Marston church at 7.30pm. Just bring along some finger food to share.
Wednesday 12th April – we remember how a lady came and anointed Jesus feet with expensive perfume. Doing something beautiful is like sowing a seed – for a long time it stays invisible but when the time is right it begins to grow into something really beautiful. Why not plant a seed or give some flowers to someone in need?
Thursday 13th April – Maundy Thursday. Jesus spent this night with his friends having supper and told them to keep meeting like this after he was gone. We are his friends too – come along to Quinton Church at 7pm and share in that same special meal – we call it Holy Communion.
Friday 14th April – Good Friday. Today we remember Christ’s death on the cross. On the face of it, it seemed a very bad day – the worst day ever. But it is actually good news for us – because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are completely forgiven for all the wrong in our lives and that’s something to celebrate. Bring your children along to our Activity morning at Quinton Church at 10am or eat hot cross buns. In the afternoon there is a solemn service at Weston at 2pm when we think about the last hour of Jesus life.
Saturday 15th April – Holy Saturday. We wait… for the great celebrations of Easter Sunday. Try making an Easter garden or you may want to bake some Easter cupcakes or even a Simnel cake.
Sunday 16th April – Easter Sunday is a time of great celebration – it’s the best celebration of the Church year! It’s the day we celebrate that the tomb is empty; Jesus is alive. Hallelujah! Come and celebrate with us. It would be fantastic to see our churches even more full than they were at Christmas.
Yet Easter isn’t the end of the story. The journey we have been on during Lent and Holy Week doesn’t finish on Easter Sunday. The resurrection is only the beginning of new life; the weeks of resurrection appearances, the ascension, the waiting in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit (which we call Pentecost) are all part of Easter that we look forward to over the coming weeks.
Easter brings us hope for the future, a future walking with the risen Lord both now and in eternity; a future filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
Hallelujah, He is risen…He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!