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Celebrating the resurrection

In the pulpit

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POSTED: April 13, 2009 10:54 a.m.
To millions of Christians around the world, today is an extra special day. While Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, Easter celebrates His victory over death and mankind's hope for eternal life.
In a short period of time, Jesus was arrested, unjustly tried, convicted, sentenced, crucified, buried and resurrected. This event happened over 2000 years ago, but it will never be forgotten. What started with sorrow, ended with joy.
The joy experienced on that Resurrection Sunday is still prevalent today. Since Ash Wednesday (which was Feb. 25), Christians have been anticipating this Easter Day. While some may think of Easter as a time for shopping and hunting Easter eggs, there is a more serious reason for the celebration.
During Holy Week (which began last Sunday on Palm Sunday), many area churches had daily prayer meetings. On Thursday, some churches (Midway Congregational and First Zion Baptist) held their annual Maundy Thursday service.
According to Sallie Richardson, a longtime member of the Midway Congregational Church, the service includes communion, foot washing and a meal. “It is a replica of the Last Supper,” Richardson said.  
    On Friday (Good Friday) at noon and in the evening, some churches sponsor the seven last sayings Jesus spoke on the cross.  Different speakers spoke about these seven last sayings. They included: The word of forgiveness, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). The word of salvation, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The word of love, “Woman, behold thy son … Behold thy mother” (John 19:26-27).
The word of spiritual suffering, “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me” (Mark 15:34). The word of physical suffering, “I thirst” (John 19:28). The word of triumph, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The word of committal, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Beach Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Freedman Grove was one of the first churches in Liberty County to have the seven last sayings of Christ program. Members and visitors look forward to the program as well as the delicious repast following the program. Liberty Christian Fellowship of Hinesville is also another church which sponsors the annual seven last sayings of Christ program.  
Early on Sunday morning, churches meet again for sunrise services. People who find it hard to get up and go to work or to regular early morning services gladly come for the sunrise services at 6 a.m. Having service at the break of dawn is a touching moment. After sunrise service, many congregations enjoy more fellowship over breakfast.
The Easter celebration normally concludes with worship services during the morning service. On this day, churches are typically crowded with children parading their new outfits and excitedly reciting their Easter speeches.
Today and every day, people are thankful because God gave His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross just for us.
 

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