As Easter Approaches Night of Worship

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Every year, as Easter approaches, churches spend lots of time making programmatic and physical preparations, lining up extra volunteers and updating old systems. However, I’ve found that it’s often good to breathe for a moment,  take a look at everything, and then prepare ourselves spiritually. The outline below shows how we did that in 2017. Check it out.

Night of Worship and Prayer As Easter Approaches

Opening Musical Worship

 

(Transition To Main Content)

As Easter Approaches, We Need To Celebrate Jesus

  • Read Luke 19:28-40Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

    • Expound on scripture (Suggestions below)
      • It was the week before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. In a sense, Jesus was preparing for Easter.

 

  • “If they kept quiet, the very stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
  • Why do we need to celebrate Jesus?

 

    • Lead the people in cheering for Jesus, so the stones don’t have to cry out.

 

  • Upbeat Prayer celebrating Jesus
  • Song celebrating Jesus – Suggestion “Shout It Out” by Vertical Church or “Great Are You, Lord!”

 

As Easter Approaches, We Need To Cry Out For Our Communities

Read Luke 19:41-44 – But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

  • Expound on scripture (Suggestions below)
    • Jesus wanted the people to understand the way to peace. Wouldn’t He pray the same thing today about our communities?
    • If God doesn’t intervene in our cities, destruction surely awaits us.
    • Earlier in Luke, when speaking to Jerusalem, Jesus says How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” (Luke 13:34b)
    • As Jesus cried over Jerusalem, we should also cry over the condition of our cities…
  • Lead the people to gather in groups to pray for the city. After several minutes, pray a pastoral prayer to gather them back. Pray that those we are crying out for to attend one of our Easter services. Pray for our people to be inviters of those they see in need.
  • Song crying out to God for our communities – Suggested Song – “Here As In Heaven” or “Fall Afresh”

As Easter Approaches, We Need To Consecrate Ourselves

Read Luke 19:45-48 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.

  • Expound on scripture (Suggestions below)
    • Jesus, a few days before his death and resurrection, cleansed the temple. We’re not planning on beating anyone here, but it is time for us to cleanse our personal temples as we make preparations for Easter…
    • Verse 48 says that all the people hung on every word that Jesus said. As we prepare for Easter, we need to hang onto the Word of God and onto the words of Jesus.
    • What sin have you been holding onto that you need to confess to the Lord? Confess it to the Lord right now and turn away from it.
  • Lead the people in praying for themselves, giving them time to confess sins and get right with God.
  • Song about the Lord transforming us – Breathe On Us or My Heart Is Yours (Passion)

Closing

  • Easter is almost here, and we have a lot to do in our preparations for it. Many here still need to volunteer in one way or another and we want you to do that, but right now, let’s remember why we’re celebrating Easter. It’s because Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life, died a cruel death on a cross to pay the price for our sin, yet even more than that, He rose victoriously from the dead, defeating death, hell and the grave… It’s time for us to cheer for Him once again…
  • Lead the people in cheering for Jesus once again, celebrating His resurrection.
  • Closing Upbeat song about the resurrection. Suggested Song – “Resurrecting” 

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