there’s always a first for everything.
Also known as Lent.
(Latin for quadrāgēsima, or the fortieth.)
In my pilgrimage as a believer, this will be my most serious observance and longest period of a spiritual discipline thus far — though prayer, fasting, penitence, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial — to imitate the example of Christ.
Starting today and ending on Easter Sunday.
I will have limited access to just about anything that might prevent me from being in the presence of God.
Lent has historically been seen as a time of serious self-denial. In denying ourselves we are able to catch a glimpse of the cosmic self-denial made by the second person of the Trinity for the salvation of mankind… …[T]he 40 day period has been influential in the lives of countless saints to redirect our affections toward our Savior. Lent predates every denomination. In whatever way your local church celebrates Lent; let this season break you, wound you, destroy you, and humble you so Jesus can be the center of your life and not you. — Tim Kimberley
Can’t wait to meet and hear from You, Lord. I need Your help through this.
the first was a woman.
I have been given the privilege to preach for the entire month of April. First, a traditional Easter message, followed by three consecutive sermons of lessons we can learn from three selected New Testament characters. This is one of the biggest ministry challenges for me (yet) and I absolutely relish it.
The Holy Spirit inspired me to merge the character study series together with the Easter message. As a result, this weekend I will launch the series and present to you my observations of Mary Magdalene – the gutsy lady who was last with Jesus in His humiliation, and the same lady whom Jesus first appeared to in His resurrection. What an impressive reputation to own!
(There’s an external speaker confirmed for the Sunday youth service) So may I invite all who are reading this to head on down to Grace II this Saturday (3rd April) at 3pm, to hear from and learn with me the outstanding attributes of Mary Magdalene. Discover for yourself how relevant her experiences can be for you!
Extracted from John 20:1-18 (New Living Translation)
Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put him!”
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying to the side. Then the other disciple also went in, and he saw and believed—for until then they hadn’t realized that the Scriptures said he would rise from the dead. Then they went home.
Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.”
“Mary!” Jesus said. She turned toward him and exclaimed, “Teacher!”
“Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.”
Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.
Tomorrow will be my first Good Friday as a full-time staff and I’m filled with even greater awe of what Christ has gone through for me. See you this weekend!