Scripture: Luke 19:39-40, Matthew 27:45-54, Psalm 34:3.
This month we celebrate the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That is something to “Shout out” about. It is the best news ever.
Decorate larger sized rocks (see craft idea #1) and place as centerpieces along with megaphones. You can order a party pack of various colored megaphones from Amazon or Oriental Trading (item #13720145).
“Eat Like Jesus Ate!” Have figs, grapes, raisins, apples, olives, pomegranate seeds, and fresh (non-sliced) bread torn into pieces. Also have olive oil for dipping the bread. Serve grape juice and water as the drink choices.
Craft Idea #1
Invite the women to paint words of praise onto smooth rocks of various size to place around their community and neighborhoods.
- Smooth, dry rocks of various size.
- Various colors of acrylic paint.
- Fine point paintbrushes.
- Spray sealant (not necessary) like: Design Master DM-HDF – 169 Home Décor Finish Aerosol Spray, Clear Matte (found on Amazon)
Craft Idea #2
If you don’t wish to order megaphones, they can be easily made using construction paper or card stock and tape. Make sure there is at least a one-inch hole to speak through. If they wish, the women could decorate their megaphones using stickers, markers, or crayons with sayings of “Shout to the Lord,” “Hosanna,” or “Praise Him.”
Here is a link to a sample megaphone pattern: https://myeyeqdownloads.shutterfly.com/152#144
Have women pair up, back to back, and have them take turns shouting, “He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!” Give each woman a megaphone and have them repeat the exercise to notice the volume difference. Each woman can take her megaphone home with her.
A Morning Like This
Every year on Easter Sunday I play the song, “Was It A Morning Like This?” by Sandi Patty. This is my tradition. My children generally roll their eyes when this happens, as it’s not their choice in music. This song resonates deeply within me. The words pierce me!
Listen to: A Morning Like This https://youtu.be/cDYH9LjldlY
Jesus’ resurrection happened on an ordinary morning, but there truly was nothing ordinary about it. A line in the song reads, “Did the grass sing? Did the earth rejoice to feel you again?” In Luke, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees when they tell Him to quiet the crowds around Him who shout out in praise. (Read Luke 19:39-40). “I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40). I don’t know about you, but if inanimate objects around me began crying out in praise to Jesus, I would definitely take notice. Thinking of the earth rejoicing because its Creator walked on its soil is a wonderful picture. The sand, rocks, and grass straining to tangibly connect with the Lord in praise—overjoyed as He walked among them.
When Jesus, was born as a tiny babe, a heavenly star changed its course and followed His path leading others to worship Him. Nature does not respond to anyone else like it does to its Creator. The power of God can cause nature to react differently than what is “normal.” The seas’ part, the sun stays fixed in the sky, lions’ mouths close, and hearts radically change in a blink of an eye.
The supremacy that Jesus had over life and death, no human can emulate; for He was “truly and properly God and truly and properly man” (The Salvation Army 4th Doctrine). Jesus’ divinity and power were revealed through His death and resurrection. The amount of power one man had as He walked upon the earth could cause the rocks to cry out in praise. When Christ was crucified on the cross, the sky blackened, rocks split in two, and the earth shook with His last breath.
(Read Matthew 27:45-54)
Whenever nature acts contrary to what is predictable, we are quick to justify and rationalize the reasons behind the change. We think of draughts caused by pollution, earthquakes caused from fracking, and flooding caused by the melt of polar ice caps. We do not usually think that any of those catastrophes could be in God’s will for mankind. Nature is predictable. There is a cause and effect for each event that is scientifically backed. We find comfort in knowing the root cause for things. When a cause cannot be found, our minds have a difficult time believing in the supernatural.
God’s power is not predictable, nor can we rationalize His reasons for His actions. When His people were fleeing from Pharaoh and the Egyptians, God caused the Red Sea to part so that they were able to walk across on dry land. God even took care to cause the ground to dry out so they wouldn’t have muddy feet. The wonderment the Israelites felt as they stared at the walls of water while walking through the Red Sea should have caused extremely powerful emotions among them. They rejoiced when they arrived on the other side, safe from Pharaoh’s reach, but soon began their grumbling about not having enough of what they wanted when they wanted it. We often take for granted things that are provided for us by others.
Jesus, the Son, came to the earth to offer Himself as a direct payment for our sin, and to bring us into a reconciled relationship with God, the Father. Sin separates us from God, and there is nothing on earth that can fix that break. We need divine intervention. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus Christ took the punishment that we deserved for our sin onto Himself. He died in our place, so that we can choose His gift of eternal life in God’s presence. Our souls are eternal, and God has given us free will to choose where we want to spend our eternity.
We honor heroes that save our lives from harm. We hold parades, build monuments, erect statues, and pay homage in celebration to those who sacrificed themselves for us. After time, we forget about the sacrifices made and go back to living our self-absorbed lives. This is why attending church services and fellowshipping with other believers is so important. Keeping God’s sacrifice constantly in our minds helps to give us an eternal perspective. Living out our daily life in light of our eternal choice, will help us find joy in the mundane, mediocre and ordinary. Not every day of our lives will be spectacular, but when we recognize God’s grace all around us, we see and react to situations differently. We feel secure, thankful and blessed.
During this Easter season, celebrate the fact that God has you written on His heart. His deepest desire is to be in a reconciled relationship with you. You are precious to Him. You matter to Him. He wants the very best for you. Psalm 34:3, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” Don’t let the stones cry out in praise before you—give it all that you’ve got. Honor Him with your voice and your life.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for the opportunity to drawn near to You today. We thank You for this time to contemplate the gift of Your Son. May we share with others Your gift of salvation. May we honor You with our lives. Give us the boldness we need to cry out in praise. May we help others to draw near to You. Thank you, Father, for Your love and grace upon us.