Easter.

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Once upon a time, the King of the Universe disguised Himself as a baby. He grew up and did wonderful, beautiful things: he fed thousands of people from one small lunch, calmed a storm by speaking to it, made sick and broken people well, and brought the dead back to life. Then, in an act of heroic self-sacrifice, He let Himself be killed. He died a gruesome death on a cross. But what looked like tragedy and certain defeat turned into joy and victory a few days later when He came back to life. Jesus makes new life possible for all of us.

KAT
Currently listening to “Oh To Be Loved” by Thad Cockrell

Holy Week: Thursday

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Today is Maundy Thursday. This name comes from John 13:34 where Jesus commands His followers to love one another and “to wash” (Latin: Mundo), which refers to Christ washing the feet of His apostles.
*This definition is derived from the Maundy Thursday service bulletin from Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Prayer: Father, in Your plan of salvation, Your Son Jesus Christ accepted the cross and freed us from the power of the enemy. May we come to share the glory of His resurrection, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Scripture: Matthew 26:20-29; Mark 14:26-36; Luke 22:43-46; John 13:30

Hymn: “Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended”

KAT
Currently listening to “Power of the Cross” by the Getty’s

Holy Week: Wednesday

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Prayer: Assist us mercifully with Thy help, O Lord God of our salvation; that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts, whereby Thou hast given unto us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture: Lamentations 3:25-33

Hymn: “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed”

KAT
Currently listening to “Hallelujah, Lamb of God” by Midtown Fellowship

Holy Week: Monday + Tuesday

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One of my favorite quotes comes from Pope John Paul II (via my dear friend Rachel):

“Do not abandon yourself to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

As a Christian, I can tell you that my faith is set on the events that we celebrate on Easter. Christ’s work on the cross, which justified mankind before God and secured us eternal salvation, brings me hope, joy, and abundant life. Jesus’ death and resurrection make us whole; it makes us the Easter people.

The week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week, a week where we recognize our sinfulness in light of God’s holiness, mourn the depths of our iniquities, and remember the final days of Jesus’ earthly life leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection.

My church is offering Holy Week services every day this week, and I thought it’d be cool to share a little of what we’re learning with you. That being said, Monday got the best of me, and I didn’t get around to posting yesterday’s Holy Week post, so today I give you two simple devotions that comprise of one prayer, a Scripture passage, and a hymn.

Holy Week, Day 1:

Prayer: Alrighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy, but first suffered pain, and entered not into glory before He was crucified; mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Scripture: Lamentations 1:1-3, 16

Hymn: “What Wondrous Love Is This”

Holy Week, Day 2:

Prayer: O Lord God, whose blessed Son, our Savior, gave His back to the smiters and hid not His face from shame; grant us grace to take joyful the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Scripture: Lamentations 2:8-13

Hymn: “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”

KAT
Currently listening to “Jesus The Lord My Savior Is” by Sandra McCracken

Lent.

Up until this year, the season of Lent had never held much significance to me. Now Easter, on the other hand… I was all about that holiday. After all, the very faith that I live and work for hinges on the events that we celebrate on Easter. But Lent? Everything about it seemed unappealing—from the name (I mean, lent?) to the fact that I mostly associated it with a period of time when eating chocolate is frowned upon.

Last week I was introduced to the She Reads Truth Lenten study of Isaiah, You Are Mine.

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I’m not sure of everything that God is teaching me through this study yet, but I am sure of this:

Lent is a season of remembrance and thankfulness for all that Christ has done for us. And though I’m late to the game, I’m officially onboard.

I did decide to give something up, but I’m keeping that thing to myself to hopefully continue in a posture of humility (because if I’m being honest, what starts as best intentions in these situations often end with me being arrogant or self-righteous—two things lent is definitely not about).

I made a playlist for this season of songs that remind me of Jesus’ great love and sacrifice for me, while also encouraging  me to keep my eyes ever fixed on God. And if you’re participating in this season of Lent with me, I hope these songs will help remind and encourage you as well.

Lenten Playlist 2017

  1. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Chris Rice
  2. “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad
  3. “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Chris Rice
  4. “Song of Joy” by Midtown Fellowship
  5. “Hallelujah, Lamb of God” by Midtown Fellowship
  6. “Man of Sorrows” by Shane and Shane
  7. “Sing to Jesus” by Fernando Ortega
  8. “Trust and Obey” by Chelsea Moon and The Franz
  9. “He Will Hold Me Fast” by Keith and Kristen Getty
  10. “Rising Sun” by All Sons and Daughters
  11. “Oh To Be Loved” by Thad Cockrell
  12. “Before The Throne of God Above” by Sojourn
  13. “The Spirit and The Bride” by Matt Maher
  14. “Be Still” by The Fray
  15. “Rock of Ages” by Sandra McCracken
  16. “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” by Page CXVI
  17. “Be Still, My Soul” by Kari Jobe

KAT
Currently listening to “Be Still, My Soul” (one of my very favorite hymns)