Dear Church Family at Snyder's,
I bring you greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus as we prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, looking forward to Easter. I've just finished recording my sermon for Palm Sunday and George will put it on our website come Sunday morning. This is another way that we can and do keep in touch with one another in this time of the corona virus pandemic crisis.
The Palm Sunday message is one of Hosanna - and it is a Hebrew phrase translated meaning "Please Save Us!" It is a cry for help and that surely is true as we as a nation, as Perry County, as the State of Pennsylvania and the world deal with the corona virus pandemic.
I was so deeply humbled at the great numbers of people who viewed our website last Sunday to view the Children's Moment with Jeff and the sermon that I shared on the raising of Lazarus. I am pleased to announce that Snyder's Church was viewed world-wide!!!
- In Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where I was for several months late in 94 and 95, the Pastor and his family were able to view the website messages that both Jeff and I shared. They want us to know that they are praying for us, as we are for them as their country is also closed due to the corona virus pandemic. The difference there and here is that we are obtaining the necessary medical resources to help, and there in Africa there is none.
As part of the message for Palm Sunday you will have the opportunity to see Jeff continue his children's moment and maybe like me you are anxious to know what the Policeman is doing at the door!
There is also another bonus, you will be able to view a video that our daughter Cindy and their two children, Chelsea and Brennan, recorded for me, from Wilmington North Carolina, when I asked Chelsea to sing for our church family. The grandchildren indicated they were glad to do it because they love the both of us. So enjoy the music this Sunday and then again on Easter Sunday they will share another.
As we move into Holy Week, Let me encourage you to read the Liturgy of the Passion. It is a long reading but one you can do a little each day if you wish. Matthew 26: 14 - 27:54. Be in prayerful reflection as you read this passage.
There was a plan for some churches to have a drive-in, drive-through for Palm Sunday and Easter. But since the Governor has closed down the entire state, the report we have from the Superintendent is that we must not do this. I share this with you, as there are some within our church family that thought we might be able to do something similar.
I also want to share with you the following: Order of the Events of the Crucifixion. This article appeared many years ago in the New Unger's Bible Handbook published by Moody Press, Chicago. Please use it as part of your Holy Week devotions: - Arrival at Golgotha [Calvary]: Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17 - Offer of a benumbing drink: Matthew 27:34 - The crucifixion: Matthew 27:35 - Cry 'Father, forgive....": Luke 23:34 - The parting of Christ's garments: Matthew 27:35 - Jesus mocked: Matthew 27: 39-44; Mark 15:29 - The thieves rail on Him, but one believes; Matthew 27:44 - Second cry, 'today you will be with me....': Luke 23:43 - Third cry 'dear woman, here is your son,': John 19: 26 - 27 - The darkness: Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33 - The fourth cry 'My God, my God.....': Matthew 27: 46-47; Mark 15: 34 - 36 - Fifth cry, 'I am thirsty': John 19:28 - Sixth cry, 'it is finished,' - John 19:30 - Seventh cry, 'Father, into thy hands...': Luke 23:46 - Jesus dismisses His Spirit: Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37
I am hopeful that after you have viewed the website videos this coming Sunday that you will send an email to me: with your response. I am keeping a list of those who respond so that we have an idea of how effective this tool in ministry is.
Finally, please be assured that you are all loved and we miss being with you. The closure we are told is for the month of April, and then we will see what happens as the President, Vice-President and the Medical Team of Advisors makes their decision.
Please keep in touch with one another, checking on our church family that lives alone.....are there things that you can do to help like going to the grocery store, inquire and then help as you are able. If there are situations that you believe that I should know about as your Pastor, please let me know in total confidence.
I am hoping that the Palm Branches we had for this coming Sunday will stay "fresh and alive" and on the first Sunday that we are back in the Sanctuary at Snyder's we will distribute them and shout our Hosanna's again.
Continue to read Psalm 91 and share any other passages that are comforting and
re-assuring to you at this time and we will pass them along to our church family.
Linda and I consider you as our extended family and we miss being with you and give thanks to God daily for each of you.
God is good - all the time!
Pastor Bill
April 1, 2020