“We must love one another or die.” W. H. Auden’s assertion has now been proven. Researchers tell us that emotional loneliness is as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking. Tumors can metastasize faster in those who are lonely. Loneliness causes or exacerbates Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Mother Teresa once observed, that “in the developing world there is an epidemic of poverty, in the West an epidemic of loneliness.” In a 2010 survey, one out of three adults said they were “chronically lonely,” meaning that they’ve been lonely for an extended time. A decade earlier, only one in five said that.
How is Maundy Thursday relevant to loneliness?
Today is known by a variety of names: “Maundy Thursday” (Church of England), “Holy Thursday” (Catholic and Methodist), “Covenant Thursday” (Coptic), “Great and Holy Thursday” (Eastern Orthodox), and “Thursday of Mysteries” (Syriac Orthodox). If I were to give today another name, it would be “Communion Thursday.”
On this day in Holy Week, Jesus led his disciples in the Last Supper, a meal many traditions call “Communion.” But our Lord extended communion beyond this event. He prayed fervently for his disciples and all of us as well (John 17). Then he retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he told Peter, James and John, “Remain here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). On this day the Son of God knew how desperately he needed to be with his Father, and with his friends.
In Jesus Calling, author Sarah Young envisions Jesus saying to us, “You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.”
How? “Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day. Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead, ask my Spirit to guide you moment by moment.”
The One who sought communion with his disciples on this day 20 centuries ago longs for communion with you today. Cambridge scholar William Law noted, “He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.”
TONIGHT – April 2 – @ 7:00 the SEDER meal – (Passover) led by Eileen Detore. The past two weeks we have had sign up because we needed to know how much food to prepare. What will occur is a version of what Jesus experienced with His disciples in the Upper Room….it will be educational – challenging – informative – and everyone will leave tonight with a deeper appreciation for the life and sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST.
TOMORROW – April 3 – @ 6:00 PM – GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE. Our theme will be Perishable by Choice. Why is it called “good” Friday? Jesus was stripped – beaten – slapped – crucified – mocked – and we call it “good”? This day is a wonderful privilege for the body of Christ to come together to remember what JESUS did for us by dying for our sin. Jesus was God’s perfect LAMB – as he was identified by John the Baptist at the outset of his ministry – behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Our service tomorrow evening will conclude with Communion
SATURDAY – 5:00 PM – Easter Sermon – Perishable no MORE!!!! Our attention will turn to the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
SUNDAY – 10:00 AM – Easter Sermon – Perishable no MORE!!! Our attention will turn to the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On the Lighter Side – I received an email yesterday of things NOT to do with your Easter Crowd….though you would enjoy this
· Do not fuss with those who attend…Do not say – “haven’t seen you since Christmas – how was your winter”
· Do not put on a “dog and pony show” instead of preaching the Gospel.
· Do not make it about eggs and bunnies – enough said
· Do not bring in a guest speaker – people need to see the church at worship – they need to see the home team work –that way they can decide if they want to return next week
· Do not go ga-ga over women’s hats and children’s Easter outfits
· Do not welcome your guests to a poorly kept building and a neglected campus
· Do not fail to pray for yourself – your team – the congregation and those newcomers who will walk into your building Easter Weekend
Because of our Good Friday Service this week – the 1st Friday Prayer Gathering will not take place. Hope everyone will come and worship the Christ who gave His life on Calvary for our sins. Meet at Discovery Center at 6:00 PM……….If a few men would hang around after the Passover Meal tonight and remove the tables to respective places – it will be a big blessing for Ike and Ruthie who will come in tomorrow to clean the church for Easter Services…Thanks………Kent Faddis had a thought today – in light of the law in Indiana which is getting global attention – do you ever foresee the day when the church will post a sign as to who are and who are not welcome to attend worship services? Thursday – Kent became another year older – wish him Happy Birthday this weekend……….It was good to see all those who had left town for Spring Break back in their respective places at worship last weekend……….Thanks to Caleb Yoder for pinch-hitting at the sound booth last Sunday……….We are really blessed for all servants to willingly step up and serve – whether it is passing out the program – or communion – to preparing the elements – and those who teach our children……thank you………
· Margie – Jackie’s youngest sister – had an episode yesterday and was rushed back into surgery – the stay in the hospital seems to be extensive this morning – so there is a lot of healing that needs to occur – BUT we serve a God whose name is HEALER – Jehovah Ropha — please lift Margie to Jehovah Ropha to heal from the surgeries as well as remove the blood clots in her lungs
· Holi Tuggle is in the Med Center with complications of diabetes.
· Bro Ike Radcliff was dismissed from Boone earlier this week – PTL
· Pray for our D-Group ministry — intimate relationships – numerical growth – spiritual depth
· Lift us our Jr and Sr high students to be a great witness for Jesus among their teachers and classmates.
· Andrea Turner (our friend in K.C. with leukemia) – the current trial drug has seemed to stabilize her – she is back home from Northwestern hospital in Chicago — this is good.
· Lift up Discovery with all the services from tonight through Easter Sunday – that God will be glorified — saints challenged – lives changed – and hope reborn in many hearts.
· Globally – this will be a great VICTORY for Jesus Christ as the Gospel is proclaimed and a great DEFEAT for Satan as 1,000’s consider and respond to the message of Hope and Forgiveness, through the Blood of JESUS.
As you can see from the above image – our next sermon series will be on RELATIONSHIPS – this would be an excellent series to bring friends and family to church to hear the message – and discuss the topics in the various D-Groups throughout the week.
Single and Incorruptible
Dating and Faithful
Married and Missional
Broken and Hopeful
General Fund $1776.00
Yellow Duck $ 100.00 (Mission giving to Panama)