I woke up this morning and realised this was occurring in our household. We haven’t even thought about Easter this year and it is next weekend. I feel like Easter has been hijacked. Christianity’s greatest historical moment pushed to the side, drowned by COVID-19.
Several times overnight the following sermon was swirling through my head. I first heard Dr Tony Campolo, a sociologist from USA speaking it when I was a teenager, but the originator was a Pastor involved in the Civil Rights movement, Shadrach Meschach Lockridge from Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego, California. (If you can watch it on YouTube, it is worth it!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cikenKl92Og
“It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’.
It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe him in scarlet. They crown him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.
It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Saviour’s hands to the cross. They nail my Saviour’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals.
It’s Friday. But let me tell you something, Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King? And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross. Feeling forsaken by His Father. Left alone and dying.
Can nobody save him? Ooooh it’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields His spirit. It’s Friday.
Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. and Satan’s just a laughin’.
It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place.
But it’s Friday. It is only Friday. Sunday is a comin’!”
This is powerful. It is full of hope. Yes, the world may look like it is Friday, but Sunday is coming. We may feel overcome, dejected, at a complete loss, but Sunday is coming. We may be hearing reports of doom and gloom, but Sunday is coming. Jesus triumphed on Sunday and defeated evil. Please folks, don’t give up before the end!!
We are called to be carriers of hope. Transmitters of hope, peace and joy.
Folks, it is time to return to our purpose. To what we are called to focus on, not on what the world is trying to get our attention with. Let us not become distracted. Let’s lead the way and be the prophetic people we are called to be.
Prophetic Activations / Exercises to incorporate into your week:
Every week I list 5 prophetic activations/exercises under children/family, group, beginner, intermediate and advanced. The purpose of these exercises is to practice to help us hear God’s voice in a clearer manner. They sharpen our senses to hear and see and sense God and His way of communicating with us. This enables us to grow in our relationship with God and also to impart to others what God tells us for them. Feel free to use as many of these activations each week as you can. The more you practice, the sharper you become at hearing God’s voice. Enjoy! Remember that whenever you give another person a prophetic word or picture etc, please make sure that it is encouraging, edifying (strengthening) and comforting (1 Corinthians 14:3) and that it comes from a place of love.
1. Children / Families Activation: Buy some Easter eggs and write/draw letters of encouragement for people from God. Go for a walk and ask God which people’s doorsteps to leave them on.
2. Group Activation: As a group brainstorm creative ways of sharing hope and joy from God with front line workers during this time of Easter preparation and COVID-19. Choose an action from the list and ask God how you are to implement it.
3. Beginner Activation: Read the Easter story and meditate on it. Ask God to show you where you would have been in the story. Spend time with God hearing His heart for you in regards to this. Ask Him if there is an action He would have you do.
4. Intermediate Activation: Ask God to show you a way of prophetically encouraging your politicians and policy decision-makers this Easter. Then put that into action.
5. Advanced Activation: Spend time hearing God’s heart on transformation for people’s mindsets at this time. Ask God what part you have to play. Craft a declaration that you can decree that speaks life. Ask God what else He would like you to release at this time.