Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.'" Exodus 24:7
In the book of Exodus, Moses receives the law from God on Mt. Sinai. When he comes down from the mountain and shares it with the Hebrew people, they respond, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient." A more literal translation of the Hebrew is "We will do and we will understand." These are powerful words. Usually, our instinct is not to act on something that we do not understand. In general, this is a good rule. How often have people gotten into trouble for acting without thinking or for supporting something that they did not understand. However, there are times in life where the opposite is true. There are things that we cannot understand until we act. Our faith is one of these areas.
If we refuse to enter into a relationship with God until we fully understand God's love and grace, then we will never develop a relationship with God. Faith is one of those things that can only be developed by practicing it. We can only begin to understand how much God loves us by experiencing it. We can only grow in Christ's grace by giving ourselves over to Christ. We can only grow deeper in our walk with God by practicing the disciplines of faith.
"We will do and we will understand." The wisdom of the Hebrew people has served the faithful of God for thousands of years. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, received this advice when he was going through a difficult time in his faith journey. He wrote in his journal: "Saturday, March 4.—I found my brother at Oxford, recovering from his pleurisy; and with him Peter Bohler; by whom, in the hand of the great God, I was, on Sunday, the fifth, clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith whereby alone we are saved. Immediately it struck into my mind, "Leave off preaching. How can you preach to others, who have not faith yourself?" I asked Bohler whether he thought I should leave it off or not. He answered, "By no means." I asked, "But what can I preach?" He said, "Preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith." He went on to describe how this advice energized his preaching, touched the lives of others, and renewed his relationship with God. Putting action before belief isn't hypercritical. It is the key to our faith journey.
Holy week is an opportunity to put this idea into action. Even if we have deep faith and love for God, we can never fully understand what Christ has done for us. When we journey with Jesus through Holy Week, our understanding of this love increases. We grow in our understanding of Jesus' sacrifice through remembering the last supper. We experience that love in our reflections on the cross on Good Friday, and we know grace through the joy of resurrection on Easter.
Join us in our Holy Week journey and bring a friend. "We will do and we will understand."
Palm Sunday: April 14 -- the children lead us into worship, waving palms and singing Hosanna.
Maundy Thursday: April 18, 7:00. We will gather with members of Tewksbury United Methodist here at our church to remember Jesus' last supper and celebrate Holy Communion.
Good Friday: April 19, 10:00 Children's Good Friday Workshop,
Noon, Community Good Friday Service at St. Thomas Roman Catholic Church
7:00 Service at Tewksbury United Methodist, we will remember Jesus' last hours.
Easter: April 21, 6:30 Sunrise Service at Silver Lake, Easter Breakfast 7:00, and Services 8:00, 9:15, 11:00