By Joe LaGuardia
This is a first in history: Celebrating the Risen Savior via a digital Easter. I know its campy, but just consider that the tomb couldn’t hold Jesus, and a virus can’t hold him either!
Nor can a virus hinder God’s people from worship. Upon entering Jerusalem so long ago, Jesus said that if his followers can’t worship him, then the rocks will cry out (Lk. 19:40). So let us cry out to the Lord for deliverance, salvation, and revival.
Here are eight ways to worship this Holy Week:
Pray: Utilize family-friendly prayer strategies to help your family remember the meaning of Holy Week. Pray around the table; read devotionals together; do communion as a family. Take ownership of your spiritual life, and pray with gusto!
Give: Giving is an act of worship, but it is also beneficial to the bottom line. The recently-passed CARES Act created a temporary above-the-line charitable tax deduction for cash donations of $300 per individual or $600 for joint filers if you do not itemize. If you do itemize, the cap on deductions taken for annual contributions has been lifted from 60% to 100% of AGI for cash gifts to charities in 2020. Excess can be carried forward for up to five years. I know this is all legalese, but we feel it important to inform you of how this new legislation benefits all you and our church.
Crochet a baby blanket or facemask: Our Womens’ Ministry continues to deliver baby blankets to the maternity ward at our local hospital, which amounts to over 1,200 blankets a year. Some started making face masks for local doctors’ offices.
Read the Gospel Story: In this time of closures, its never been a better time to read your Bible. Read one of the Gospels all the way through this week. This will help you “live the life of Jesus” as you venture from his birth to his death and resurrection.
Watch online content from other churches, not just your own: This is a good opportunity for you to check out how other churches do worship and how other preachers preach. I know that I’ve been taking advantage of worshiping with other communities during this time! Its been a smorgasbord of preaching! Start by checking out our homepage at First Baptist Church of Vero Beach! We are releasing our mid-week Bible study on Jonah 2 today, which features Jonah’s song of God’s deliverance. On Good Friday, our children’s ministry is releasing a video slideshow for the Stations of the Cross!
Rent a faith-based movie: Faith-based movies are prevalent these days, and you can rent or stream the latest movies that inspire and bolster faith. A general search at RedBox revealed that “Overcomer” is available, as well as the feel-good, “Its a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Mr. Rogers’ movie starring Tom Hanks.
Bake: Bake bread and share it as a form of communion with others. Cupcakes, pies, and special cuisines also work. Our son has been baking (or frying?) home-made doughnuts these days. They’ve been a “sweet” escape from the coronavirus doldrums.
Give your testimony: We are praying about some new video content for our website, and we’d like to make a short video highlighting ways that God has provided for our church! Anyone can use Facebook or Youtube live. Record your testimony, and share it with the world!
What ideas do you have to make Holy Week a sacred one? Let us know!