1000 Hours to Easter
Easter is Christianity. There is no Christianity without Jesus Christ, God’s Son, rising from the grave, conquering death, proclaiming the Good News of salvation to the world, and displaying the glory of God. “To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” ~Jude 1:25
On Sunday March 1, it is 6 weeks to Easter. We did the math, 6 weeks x 7 days a week x 24 hours a day equals 1008 hours. Call it an even 1000. Beginning on March 1, we are devoting ourselves to “1000 Hours to Easter” to prepare our church for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Each week will focus on a theme with activities to do in your household.
1000 Hours to Easter #1000hours
- Week One (March 2-8): Read
- Week Two (March 9-15): Reflect
- Week Three (March 16-22): Thank
- Week Four (March 23-29): Serve
- Week Five (March 30-April 5): Give
- Week Six (March 6-12): Fast
Together let’s make this a splendid season of anticipation and participation. Plug in and be a part of “1000 Hours to Easter.” We have a worshipful and wonderful weekend of Easter ahead of us with Good Friday (April 10) and Easter Sunday (April 12) services. 1000 hours of preparation will make this celebration 1000x bigger.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Dave, Omar, Sheley, Rhea, Danielle, and Ryan #1000hours
To start things off, we are going to follow a 7-day devotional on Easter called “On Calvary’s Hill” by Max Lucado on the Bible app YouVersion. You might read and/or listen to it in the morning or with the family around dinner time each evening. Each day includes a short story and a passage from Scripture about Jesus and the week leading up to his death, burial and resurrection. You will find it by clicking on the image below:
For this week of reflection, we want to direct you in a pattern of praise. The songs’ topics follow the instructions for worship that God gave the Israelites after the Exodus. The Tabernacle was a dwelling place where God would meet with humanity. Hebrews 8:5 tells us it was “…a copy and shadow of what is in Heaven.” While the Tabernacle is no longer used, there are many parallels for us to draw from. Each day this week has a song. Listen to the song, read the words, dwell in God’s presence with thanksgiving, affirmation, renewal, confession, petition, intercession, and adoration. Hallelujah
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” ~Psalm 100:4
All those who entered the Tabernacle’s Courtyard did so with the understanding that they were coming to worship God. The Gate was left wide open–never barred. Remember that the Father’s waiting to meet with you today.
”Thank You Jesus, You set me free. Christ my Savior, You rescued me.”
There is something about the simplicity of those words. Thanking Him for setting us free and thanking Him for giving everything to rescue us. As Christians, it is important to call to remembrance the day of your salvation – keep it fresh in your heart.
Let this song stir your heart to worship God. Sing it loud.
“THANK YOU JESUS” Hillsong Worship
There was only one entrance into the Tabernacle’s Courtyard. What is the significance of having one entrance? It represented that there was only one way to God. Our only way to God is through Jesus Christ. Is Jesus absolute Lord of your life? Take time to realign your heart and affirm who you are as a believer.
The lyrics powerfully tell the story of how Christ defeated death, hell, and the grave. It reminds us that shame and fear are liars and tools of the enemy that we can overcome with the power of God’s love. This is an anthem for anyone who is ready to follow Jesus and walk out of the graves in their daily life.
“AIN’T NO GRAVE” Molly Skaggs & Cageless Birds
“Stand firm. See the salvation of the Lord. What you see today you will not see again. The Lord fights for you. You need only be still.” ~Exodus 14:13-14
Today’s culture tells us that we need to be busy, multi-task, and on-the-go, all of the time. God values hard work and we should serve others; however, there is something to just being still and surrendering to God. Trusting Him to fight the battles in our lives. Is there a situation you can hand over to Him today? Can you rest in His presence and dwell on the fact that He goes before you?
“DEFENDER” Francesca Battistelli & Steffany Gretzinger
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, Be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!’” ~Revelation 5:11-13
In Revelation 5, this wonderful scene unfolds where John is looking around and realizing that nobody can be found worthy to break the seal, open the scroll and to ascend to the Throne. He is weeping loudly because there is nobody worthy to do this thing. He is told, “no, behold there is someone Who is worthy.” I love how there is a question and answer section in the Bible, “Is there anyone worthy?” And the angels answer about the power of Jesus, “He is.”
Let this song comfort you. Let it remind you that the Cross matters. He is worthy!
“IS HE WORTHY” Andrew Peterson
So many times we lay our lists at the feet of the Father, asking for what we need (because He tells us to ask). Unfortunately, sometimes what we really need isn’t obvious to us. We The Kingdom’s song “Holy Water” is a modern day psalm that celebrates the forgiveness of God. Jesus is the Living Water that carries grace and forgiveness to our desert places.
“HOLY WATER”We the Kingdom
“We are an altar of broken stones, but You delight in the offering. You have the heavens to call Your home, but You abide in the song we sing.”
There’s something funny about having guests over. Most of us clean our houses from top to bottom until it looks like a model home: perfect and unused. And while that might be fine to do for parties, sometimes we try to do the same thing with our worship.
We try to get everything in order before we have God over. We spend our time dusting off our shelves and hiding what we don’t want Him to see. We think that once our place is perfect, then it’s time to worship Him and invite Him in.
In Exodus 20:25, God tells His people that, “If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.”
“Dressed stones” meant stones that were cut and shined – stones that were nearly perfect. God actually asked for imperfection. He could have told His people to worship Him with an altar of perfect, solid gold bricks. Instead, He asked for undressed stones.
Even if our altar is made of imperfect stones, God still delights in our offering. Struggling, hurting, broken – it’s what He asked for.
He is knocking at the door of your home. Let Him in, mess and all.
“HALLELUJAH HERE BELOW” Elevation Worship & Steffany Gretzinger
“Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” ~Chronicles 16:23-31
Rejoice in the glory of God! Unite with Christians all over the world who are exclaiming His greatness with a call to action to join in singing His praises, so that others might come to know Him.
“HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD (WORLD EDITION)” Chris Tomlin
An attitude of gratitude changes the way we look at life. To be thankful for what we have is better than focusing on what we don’t have. It starts with thanking God, but includes thanking others for the blessings they bring in our life. Every day this week…
- Each day this week, think of two people who have done something or given you something you are thankful for. Then tell them. Send them a letter or card or email, or post something to them on social media. Two a day.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.” ~Philippians 1:3
The heart of Christ is the heart of a servant. Jesus made that very clear, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). It’s the “love your neighbor” part of the Greatest Commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). They go hand in hand. This week, we want to express the heart of a servant in a couple ways.
- Seek out a service project for you or your whole family to do this week. It could be something for a member of your family or the church or the community.
March 30-April 5
Life as a gift, and that is why we always thanking God, and then, being a gift-giver yourself.
The basic flow of God’s life is outward toward others. God is a giver, ”For God so loved the world that He gave…” He gave his Son who gave his life on the cross for us, and through Easter, he gives us eternal life overflowing with God’s goodness. So, we ought to be givers just like God, right? This week is about giving.
- Select a family or an organization, fill up an Easter basket full of items you think will bless them, and deliver it. If they are a local family, you might include an invitation to our Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services in the basket.
We fill our lives with things to do, people to see, places to go. That’s great, but how often do we stop and “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)? Fasting is one way to slow down and zero in on God. This week we will create space each evening, and a full day on Friday, and invite God to meet us in a very special way. Here’s the plan:
- Each evening at 5pm, turn off the electronics, the cable, the internet, the phone. Spend time together, enjoy the evening, celebrate the goodness of God and life as he created it.
- On Thursday at sunset, begin a fast. Friday evening, break the fast with Rolling Hills at our Good “Fish Fry” Day Service, 5:30pm.