As we prepare to enter Holy Week and in honor of Jesus, who suffered on the cross, Bishop Ward encourages us to be generous in giving to a mission project to alleviate suffering in the world.
Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
On Sunday, we will join the voices of children in praising Jesus who comes to save us. Jesus, the suffering servant of God enters Jerusalem to glad shouts. Coats are taken off and laid in the path of the donkey on which Jesus rides. Palm branches are waved in the air. The palm branches are symbols of royalty. Indeed, Jesus is the ruler of all. And yet as we progress through the days of Holy Week, we see Jesus denied, betrayed, abused; condemned to death, he suffers for us on the cross.
As we see Jesus suffer, we remember all who suffer in this world. Wherever people suffer, the heart of God is heavy with compassion. Our gifts during this season will alleviate suffering and bring abundant life. I hope that you will receive a special mission offering on Palm Sunday, at Holy Week services or during your Easter celebrations.
Your offering might be designated for hurricane relief following Hurricane Matthew. Your gifts, combined with the volunteer efforts of many, are restoring people to their homes. Your gift might be designated for the people of Peru. Devastating landslides have impacted thousands of people and The Methodist Church of Peru has asked for our help. For years we enjoyed a covenant relationship with the Methodist people of Peru. Or there may be another place in the world that particularly touches your heart during this Holy Week.
Wherever it is, God awaits your generosity. As we give, we honor the suffering servant Jesus Christ and we gladden the heart of God. Hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!