Beloved of God,
Many years ago, at just about this time of year, I was a high school track runner in Massachusetts whose dream was to travel to Philadelphia to participate in the Penn Relays. Ironically I now live in Philadelphia and I’ve still never been to the Relays even as a spectator! I’m grateful, however, that our sovereign Lord has qualified me for a much more important race. As believers, we have an important race to run for which we must train daily, and the prize is too valuable for us to give it any less than everything we’ve got. During the month of April, Mount Pisgah will be brimming with activity designed to help to equip us to stay in the race and win the prize at the end.
April begins with five days of heartfelt and engaging worship as we travel down Calvary’s road with our Savior Jesus.
- On Holy Wednesday at Bethel AME in Lansdowne PA, we recall the treachery that our Savior endured from Judas, a trusted friend, and how this betrayal turned cries of “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday into shouts of “Crucify Him” on Thursday and Friday. Although the tide of popular opinion about Jesus turned, the tide of Jesus’ determination to complete His mission for our salvation never turned.
- On Maundy Thursday at Ward AME in Philadelphia, we revisit the Passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples known as “The Last Supper.” The word “Maundy” comes from a Latin word that means mandate or commandment. In our sharing of Holy Communion we are reminded that the passionate gift of Jesus’ body and blood should bind us together as The Body of Christ, and compel us follow Jesus’ new commandment: “That ye love one another” (John 13:14). The passion of Christ for our sins only has meaning when it is reciprocated through heartfelt obedience to God and heartfelt love for God’s people.
- On Good Friday at St. Matthew AME in Philadelphia, we spend time appreciating the last words that Jesus took the time to utter in the midst of his mortal agony, words that express both human suffering and divine purpose. The horrendous nature of His death reminds us that there is no sin that you or I could be a part of that has not been paid for in Jesus’ penalty.
- Finally, on Resurrection Sunday at Son Rise and at our regular worship time, we celebrate the greatest reversal ever known, the defeat of death for ALL of us, and our release from graves of sin and shame.
As we run the race marked out for each of us, Holy Week equips us with the knowledge that the winner has already been determined. Our task is simply to keep running!!
April also brings us to REVIVAL 2010 (April 7-9, 7pm nightly)
. Our theme, “Thinking BIG”
(Believing in God’s Greater Glory), reflects our expectation that God is going fill our church with a fresh anointing during this Resurrection season of celebration. Our anointed revivalists, Bishop Benjamin Peterson of Greater Bibleway Church and Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson of Bright Hope Baptist Church will bring LIFE CHANGING WORDS that will transform us, and through our worship The Holy Spirit will infuse us with new strength to accomplish BIG THINGS. We also look forward to our dynamic learning sessions (6pm each Revival night), which will feature Sister Donna Minor on Wednesday, Brother Timothy Walls on Thursday, and Sister Ingrid Broadnax on Friday. We are believing God for a tremendous “power boost” that will give us the stamina to keep on running our race through the year.
Let us recall that the Christian life is not an individual event. Like the relays, the whole team is dependent upon the manner in which each individual runs his or her race. Let us run well, and “cheer one another on” as we press on to God’s best!
“Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Hebrews 12:1-3
Run on, beloved!