Most of the New Testament scholars believe that the ministry of Jesus was slightly longer than three years. In this period of time, Jesus had the opportunity to teach, to heal and to travel across Galilee and Judea. However, when you look at how the gospel writers, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, organize their gospels you can see that the focus of the ministry of Jesus is what we call the Holy Week - Palm Sunday through Easter, the Resurrection Sunday. Matthew's Gospel has 28 chapters, of which 8 are about Holy Week; Mark's Gospel has 16 chapters of which 6 are about Holy Week; Luke's Gospel has 24 chapter of which 6 are about Holy Week; and John's Gospel 21 chapters of which 9 are about Holy Week. This disproportionate emphasis of the evangelists between the total ministry of Jesus Christ and the last week highlights the importance of the Holy Week for the life and the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Most of us can follow the story line from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. The sequence is simple. The high demands of the Holy Week are for us to understand the interaction between the Father and the Son as the Son submits willingly to the Father and how in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, all the sacrifices of the Old Testament have come to an end. The high demand of the Holy Week is for us to get a glimpse of the enormity of the suffering that the Son has been going through so that in His humanity, he has experienced the forsakenness of His Father.
One of the blessings that I have experienced in this community of faith is to listen to many of my clergy brothers and sisters explaining the manifold love of God. There have been many years in which my heart was overflowing with praise to God after one of these experiences. The AACC (The Area Association of Community Churches) is holding many services this week. There are Good Friday Services, Easter Sunrise Services and Easter Services the whole day on Sunday. Go to your church, go to community services and listen to what God has done for your salvation. Let the words of God penetrate your mind and heart deeply, so that you will be amazed at how much God suffered for you because He has loved you so much. Let your heart be filled with the good news of Easter morning that Christ is alive forever more. Because he is alive, you know that whoever believes in him has life everlasting.
We are publishing here a partial list of the services scheduled by the AACC.
Good Friday, March 21 12:00 P.M. - The Seven Last Words of Christ - Central Baptist Church, Atlantic Highlands *
3:00 P.M.- The Lord's Passion - St. Agnes Catholic Church,
The Lord's Passion - Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Saturday, March 22
9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. - Open For Prayer, The United Methodist Churches of Atlantic Highlands and Navesink
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. - Confessions at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
10:30 A.M.- 11:30 A.M. - Confessions at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Highlands
12:00 P.M. - Blessing of Food - St. Agnes Catholic Church,
12:00 P.M. - Blessing of Food - Our Lady of Perpetual Help,
7:00 P.M. - Easter Vigil at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
7:00 P.M. - Easter Vigil at Our Lady of Perpetual Help,
Easter Sunday, 6:30 A.M. - Easter Sunrise Service at Hofbrauhaus Restaurant
March 23 Parking Lot, 301 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Highlands*
7:30 A.M. - Easter Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
9:00 A.M. - First Easter Worship Service, "Service of Light,"
at United Methodist, of Navesink, Grand Ave.
Easter Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
Easter Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Catholic Church, Highlands
9:45 A.M. - Easter Worship Service at New Life Christian Church,
Bay Ave., Highlands
10:00 A.M. - Easter Worship Service at First Presbyterian Church
of Atlantic Highlands, Third & E. Highland Aves.
Easter Worship Service, Kings Highway Faith Fellowship, Atlantic Highlands
10:15 A.M. - Easter Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
10:30 A.M. - Easter Worship Service at Living Word, Hwy. 36
Easter Worship Service at United Methodist of
Atlantic Highlands, Third & E. Garfield Aves.
Easter Worship Service at Calvary Chapel held at
Hillside Community Center, 144 Chestnut Ave., A.H.
Easter Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help,
11:00 A.M. - Easter Worship Service at Central Baptist Church
Third & East Highland Aves., Atlantic Highlands
Easter Worship Service at St. Paul Baptist Church,
West Highland Ave., Atlantic Highlands
11:30 A.M. - Easter Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church,
* Sponsored by the Area Association of Community Churches