Easter is Coming!

by Erin Bird

In case you didn’t know, this is Holy Week in the Christian calendar. Normally, liturgical churches are holding services almost every evening of the week, but the coronavirus has put most of those plans on hold.

However, the presence of a pandemic doesn’t mean this can’t still be a meaningful week. Here are some ideas to make this weekend full of worshipand connection with your God:

Just because you are cooped up inside doesn’t mean this has to be a wasted weekend. Find ways to connect with Jesus and thank Him for what He did for you through the cross.Easter Sunday

We have a unique and memorable sermon planned for Easter Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Rather than watch me preach on video for 35 minutes like usual, we have turned this week’s sermon into a short film. We want to encourage you to not only attend with your family, but to invite someone to attend “with” you for this unique experience.

To invite someone, all you need to do is send a friend a text, email, or direct message on their favorite social media platform. The link to share with them is https://weareriverwood.online.church.

We also encourage you to make a general invitation on your social media platforms. Riverwood is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so go to the social media platforms you regularly use and share Riverwood’s invitation which you can find in our feed.

Let’s make this a memorable Easter, not simply because we were forced to participate online, but by truly worshiping Jesus and inviting others to hear the life-changing news of the gospel.

Holy Week Worship

Here we are in the most important week in the Christian calendar! While our culture tends to get more excited about Christmas, Easter is a bit more important. Christmas celebrates Jesus’ birth (which is a REALLY big deal!), but babies are born all the time. However, it is NOT common for someone to rise from the dead a couple days after they were brutally killed by governmental authorities. And not only is the resurrection of Jesus the greatest miracle the world has ever seen or ever will see, He predicted all of it!

That’s why this Sunday, as we celebrate Riverwood’s 5th birthday, we will be looking at the Easter story (which, I will admit, we talk about almost every Sunday!) So here are some ideas for how to make this “Holy Week” weekend full of worship to draw your heart to God and prepare you to worship together as a church family on Easter Sunday:

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

  • Listen & learn the song “Resurrecting” which we’ll sing on Sunday.
  • Send a reminder text to anyone you invited to Sunday’s Worship Gathering to join you.
  • Read Isaiah 53.
  • Take a walk through your neighborhood, praying for this weekend to not just be a holiday weekend, but truly a Holy Weekend for your neighbors. Pray specifically for your neighbors to find and follow Jesus.

SUNDAY

You’re Invited to a Glorious Weekend!

by Erin Bird

In this week’s blog post, I want to invite you to do three things:

#1. Come to our Good Friday worship service. We are holding this deeply-reflective worship gathering in conjunction with Grace Baptist. We will remember the cross of Christ through song, Scripture, and communion. Please join us tomorrow, March 30th at 7:00 pm at the building of Grace Baptist. (Please note: there will NOT be childcare available, but your kids are MORE than welcome to join us!)

#2. Then on Easter Sunday, April 1, join us at Shell Rock Elementary School for a “Glorious Day” celebrating the truth that Jesus came back from the dead, seeing how his physical resurrection has deeply spiritual implications on our modern, daily lives. (It’s going to be a REALLY good day, and we’d love to share it with you!)

#3. Lastly, don’t let your worship of God be relegated to just tomorrow night or Sunday morning. Find some other ways to worship God this week. You could:

  • Find time to read the biblical account of the cross.
  • Listen to some music that reminds you of what Jesus gave up for you.
  • Confess your sins in a time of prayer.
  • Spend sundown Friday through sundown Saturday fasting.
  • Host a party Sunday afternoon!

In other words, do something that will make this Holy Weekend one to remember.

Making the Most of Holy Week(end)

In case you didn’t realize it, we are coming to the end of Holy Week. This is the week any Christians remember several events involving Jesus, from the Triumphal Entry to the Resurrection. But as a non-liturgical church, it might be easy for us to just continue to be caught up in day-to-day events. How can we get the most of out this week?

Here are a few ideas. Pick one or two, and let it carry you through the weekend in preparation for Sunday’s Easter celebration:

1. Read Scripture

Let the Bible carry you through the events of this week. If you’ve gotten away from your Bible Reading Plan, this is a great time to pick it back up. Or if you’ve been faithfully sticking to your plan, add in a few extra passages from the Gospels that remind you of what Jesus went through for your sake.

If you need some help, try out this Lenten Bible Reading Plan from Bible.com and read days 37-40.

2. Go to a Good Friday service.

Even though Riverwood is not hosting a Good Friday service, consider attend a Good Friday service at a different local church, and be reminded that all Jesus followers are part of THE Church.

3. Host a Good Friday “service.”

Rather than go to an organized worship gathering, perhaps you could host a “service” in your home. After dinner, simply read Scripture about the arrest and death of Jesus, take communion, and spend some time in prayer.

4. Watch a film about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

If you tend to be a visual person, perhaps you could take some time to watch a film like the brutal The Passion of the Christ or the recent Son of God to remind you of what Jesus went through to pay for our sin. Or if you want to include the kids, watch the excellent The Miracle Maker.

5. Fast

Another idea is to fast (abstain from something for the purpose of seeking God) from Good Friday until Easter. Perhaps you could choose to let no food touch your lips until we partake of the communion elements on Sunday morning. Or perhaps you want to fast from TV or from your phone to devote yourself to prayer and preparation for Sunday.

6. Invite

Last, make sure you invite someone to come to our Easter Worship Gathering. Having someone with you at Riverwood for the first time helps you see the Easter story in a new, fresh way.

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May this weekend be a meaningful time of remembering what Jesus did on our behalf, and celebrate that He had the authority to take up His life on that blessed Sunday morning!

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