HOLY WEEK MESSAGE FROM ANDY QUIENT

Dear Friends, 

We are in Holy Week.  We’ve celebrated Palm Sunday and will quickly arrive at Easter Sunday-glorious right at the core of our faith-Easter! Wait just a minute.  If we only examine the events of Sunday to Sunday, it looks like just one big grand celebration. On Palm Sunday, the conquering King, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, rides triumphantly into Jerusalem.  Then, the following Sunday: “Christ is risen! He’s risen indeed!” However, a not so funny thing happened on the way to Easter: Good Friday.  

Good Friday is the day when we consider Christ on the cross dying a sinner’s death: an agonizing physical, mental, and spiritually grueling experience. He cried the words of King David, in the 22nd Psalm, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” 

It is important that we consider Good Friday. Christ paid the ultimate price for your sin and mine. Yet it is also important that we do not “get stuck” on Friday; we must allow ourselves unbridled celebration this resurrection Sunday.  Most of us have had our plans change-dramatically. My wife, Lisa, and I were looking forward to having our amazing daughters and their equally amazing spouses and our even more than amazing two grandchildren over for Easter.  We had planned for a morning at church, followed by lunch at our house and a day at the beach.  To entice them to make plans, I even gave them the “guarantee” two months ago that the weather on Easter would be a balmy 78.  Of course, I couldn’t guarantee fine weather.  As it turns out, I couldn’t even come close to delivering a guarantee of spending the day at our house.  Our plans have changed.  If you would have told us that, thanks to self-imposed quarantine rules, we wouldn’t have even been able to say even one in-person “hello” to our newest grandson since he was born a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed it.  

We are not alone in the “change of plans department.” We have pastors who were looking forward to their highest attended Sunday, music teams ready to present their in-person best, and families and friends inviting the non-churched for a big day. All that is not to be, at least not in the way we planned. Some plans have (or will) change in more dramatic ways as the insidious virus appears closer and closer to home.  

We could be depressed.  There used to be an old phone company ad that read: “Long Distance:  The next best thing to being there.” But, being there is really the best.  As grateful as we are for the many tools we have, let’s not kid ourselves; being withpeople, hugging, shaking hands, looking deep into eyes, laughing and crying with-it is so much better in person.  

So, should we be depressed?  It is okay to feel sad; it is okay to grieve.  Keep this in mind, though, with regard to our present circumstance: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming.”  The great orator, S.M. Lockridge, African American pastor from 1953-93, preached a famous sermon with that very title.  Many (including yours truly) have tried to cover his sermon, but have failed to capture the cadence, the passion, the poetry of Lockridge. Thanks to God-given technology, some of his sermons have been preserved.  Here is a portion of “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming:” CLICK HERE to read his powerful words:

So, what’s my point? Simply this: no matter how bad things may look right now, it will not stay this way. To those who were with Jesus (or hiding in the shadows), Friday looked incredibly bleak. Then, Sunday came. Jesus rose from the dead.  The news traveled fast. Those who witnessed the events first-hand were willing to die for the truth.  Even those who were born years later were willing to die for the truth that had been passed along through the generations.  There are those that will follow us, if Jesus tarries, who will be willing to die for the same truth-the amazing, wonderful truth. Sunday came; He rose again, conquering sin and death.  With this victory, we have everlasting, abundant life, on earth as it is in heaven. 

Hang in there.  Rather, hang ON there! Hang onto the promises of God. While it might seem like the storm will last forever, the sun will shine again; while it seems like the Coronavirus will always dominate your life, you will be free from its grip; while it seems like Friday, Sunday is coming!

If we can pray or do anything for you, please reach your region staff via email, cell, or text. Their information can be found on our abcoflash.com webpage under the “staff” tab. I can be reached at aquient@abcoflash.org or cell at 949.412.3294

Serving the Risen Christ, and You,

Andy Q. 

 

 

Date: 
April 6th, 2020