April 2-8th Family Worship Guide 2023

The Guide for the Week April 2-8th 2023 AD. Holy Week

Bible Passage for the Week
Deuteronomy 34
Matthew 27:11-31
Isaiah 50:4-11
Psalm 118

Verse to Memorize
Romans 5:6

Catechism Questions
Q.  Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?
A. To do the will of the Father, to fulfill prophesy, and to die for sinners.

Q. How did Jesus come into Jerusalem?
A. He humbly rode on a donkey.

Q.  What did the people do when Jesus came into Jerusalem?
A. They spread out palm branches and their coats along the road and shouted ““Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Q. What does Hosanna mean?
A. Please save us now.
Q. What did Jesus do after he rode into Jerusalem?
 A. He drove the money changers out of the temple.

Q. Why did Jesus drive the money changers out of the temple?
A.  Because they were using God’s house for their own selfish gain and because God’s house is supposed to be a place of prayer.  

Q.  Who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?
A.  They were the Jewish leaders during the time of Jesus.

Q. Did the Pharisees and Sadducees follow Jesus?
A. While a small number did become followers of Jesus, most of them hated Him and wanted to kill Him because He exposed the many evil and hypocritical things they did.

Q.  What is a hypocrite?
A.  A hypocrite pretends to be something that they are not.  They pretend to serve God but, in their hearts, they do not know him.

Q.  Who betrayed Jesus?
A.  Judas betrayed Jesus to the Jewish leaders with a kiss.

Q.  What happened after Jesus was betrayed?
A.  He was arrested and put through an unjust trial before the Jewish leaders and turned over to the Romans to be beaten and crucified.

Q.  What is crucifixion?
A. Crucifixion was a Roman form of execution where someone is tortured and then hung on a wooden cross to die painfully and shamefully.

Q.  Why did Jesus die on the cross?
A.  Jesus laid down his life on the cross to take upon himself the wrath of God that is due his people’s sins so that they could be forgiven and made righteous.

People to Pray for:
Church: Reformation Church Shelbyville
                Pastor Jerry Dorris
Ministry:  Covenant Church/School Nashville Tennessee
Civil Magistrate: Jeffersonville City Council Member
                                Scott Hawkins
Notes for Parents:
Deuteronomy 34
When I read through the Bible from beginning to end, I always get emotional when I reach this chapter. We have been following Moses for five books of the Bible. He isn't mentioned by name in the book of Genesis, but he wrote it along with the rest of the first five books of the Bible. This section at the end of Deuteronomy was likely added to the book after Moses died, by whoever wrote the book of Joshua, to conclude Moses' story. In this chapter, we bid farewell to Moses. His time leading the people is over, and now the torch must be passed on. He is taken up to a mountain, where God shows him a glimpse of the promised land that the Jews will enter. Moses himself will not enter the land, but God will raise up another generation to do so. However, God will still care for Moses. When Moses died, God himself buried him. Moses' soul went to be with God, but his body awaits the day of resurrection at Christ's coming. The burial of Moses' body by God points us to that resurrection and shows us that God blesses burial. Christians have, for centuries, buried those who have died as both an act of love for the person and an act of faith in the resurrection. Christians take care of the bodies of those who have passed away. They don't throw them away or destroy them. Instead, they show the body respect by burying it in the ground like a seed. One day, we believe Christ will return and resurrect all those who have passed away - both body and soul. The body was planted in the ground like a seed, but by Christ, it will spring forth alive, transformed into a glorious resurrected body that will never die or suffer again.

The basis for this belief is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He died on the cross, but the grave could not hold him. He rose from the dead and is the first fruits of all those who believe in him. We will rise one day, just like Christ, along with Moses and all the other faithful saints of old. We will inherit more than just a plot of land in the Middle East. We will inherit the earth.

Matthew 27:11-31
This passage narrates the trial of Christ before Pilate and its immediate aftermath which is leading up to Christ’s death.
It might be helpful this week to look at this passage from several different angles.  My suggestion is to each night for family worship focus on one person or group of persona and what they did.
Here is a list of people involved.
1.  Pilate
2.  Pilate’s Wife
3.  The Jewish Leaders
4.  The Crowd
5.  The Roman Soldiers
6.  Jesus
Ask your children to point out the sins (if there are any) of each person listed.  Point out how they responded to the situation before them.   Did they get anything right?    How did God use all this?

Isaiah 50:4-11
In this passage, the prophet Isaiah speaks as a servant of God who has been given the task of speaking to the weary and downtrodden. He describes how God has given him the words to sustain the weary with his speech, and how he has been obedient to God's commands even when he has faced opposition and persecution. Despite the persecution he has faced, the servant is confident that God is with him and will vindicate him. He challenges his accusers to bring charges against him, and affirms that God will justify him. The passage concludes with a warning to those who walk in darkness and trust in their own light. They will lie down in torment, while those who trust in the Lord will walk in the light of his salvation.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of this passage.  He is the suffering servant who gave his back to be stricken and his beard to be plucked out for us.  He did not cover his face or shrink back from the suffering.   As we read in our passage in Matthew, Jesus did not say a word in his defense.   But He entrusted himself to God.  

There is so much that could be said about Christ’s suffering.  It was the act that made atonement for our sin.  It appeased the wrath of God.  It defeated the devil and ransomed us from sin. It reveals the depth of our sin and the breadth of God’s love.  It set an example for us to follow as we suffer.

We ought to then trust in Christ, love Christ, and follow his example.  We ought also to heed the warning of the prophet Isaiah.  Those who walk in darkness and trust their own light will have no hope.  There is no sacrifice for those who will not have Christ.

Psalm 118
Psalm 118 is a song of thanksgiving and praise to God for His goodness and faithfulness. It begins and ends with a declaration of His steadfast love enduring forever. The psalmist reflects on his past distress and the Lord's deliverance, exhorting others to trust in God's saving power. This psalm is often read on Palm Sunday because the middle part contains a description of the triumphal entry of the King.  The Psalm writer called the for the gates to be opened wide so that the king can be welcomed with shouts of joy and thanksgiving.    The king is coming, and all should be ready to see him.  David ends the psalm by calling for God to bless the king and by praising God for his mercy to his people.

This psalm was fulfilled when Christ entered into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and yet we still must heed it today.  We still need to open the gates of our hearts to receive the King.  John 1:12 "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

Catechism/ Memory Verse
There are a lot of catechism questions this week. These questions are to help you as you celebrate what is sometimes called Holy Week. It begins on Sunday, which is often called Palm Sunday. It is the day that we reflect on Christ entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey to the accolades of the crowd. In just less than a week, the praises of that crowd will be replaced by another crowd chanting “crucify Him.” Jesus Christ was a lowly king while here on earth. He had no palace, no throne, no army, and no riches. His robe was one that was placed on his bleeding back to scorn him. His crown was a crown of thorns. His court was the corrupt court of the Pharisees that threw out all pretenses of justice to condemn him to death. He humbled himself to suffer under Pontius Pilate, a tyrant who caved to the mob. The Lord of the Universe was stripped bare and placed shamefully exposed on a cross. He was lifted up high for all to see as a criminal. And he died.
He did this for you and me. He took on the wrath of God so that we would not have to. He was humble and lowly for our sake. He opened not his mouth in defense for us. What we see then on the cross is:
   1. The seriousness of our sin. We see how wicked and evil it truly is. It was not something that could be shrugged off or swept under a rug. Our sin nailed Jesus to the tree. Sin deserves death. May we flee from it.
   2. The love of Christ for the Father. We see that Jesus did not shrink back from the call of His Father. He loved His Father so much that He was willing to be sent to this earth, stripped of all his royal privileges, and die a painful death. He loved and trusted His Father enough to know that God would not let Him see decay. He would die but He would be resurrected. He trusted the will of the Father because He loved the Father.
3.  We also see His love for his brothers. Jesus is not ashamed to call those of us who believe in His name, brothers. He loved us enough to bear our guilt, take our sin and shame, and pay the penalty that we deserved. What greater love is there than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends? Jesus loves me, this I know, for the cross tells me so.

People to Pray for:
Prayer for Reformation Church of Shelbyville
We give thanks for our dear brothers in Shelbyville. We thank you for their bold proclamation of the gospel and their stance against the evils of our day. We also thank you for our friendship and the way they have encouraged us. Please be with their lead pastor, Jerry Dorris. We ask that you give him the strength and wisdom to effectively lead the church. Grant him the courage to follow where you lead, and give the congregation the faith to follow him. We ask that you protect the peace of the church by preserving the unity of the elder board. Please protect the church from pride, but also comfort them when they are slandered. Help them to remember that Jesus Christ suffered and did not revile.
Finally, we pray that you would grow Reformation Church both numerically and spiritually. Use them to seek and save lost sheep, and to provide nourishment and care to your flock. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Covenant Church/School Nashville Tennessee
Dear God, our protector,
With heavy hearts, we mourn alongside our brothers and sisters in Nashville, and we cry out to you for help. We do not understand why you would allow such evil to be inflicted upon your children, yet we trust that you, the judge of the earth, will do what is right. We know that your will is good and that you defend and protect the weak, while comforting those who mourn. We ask that you would provide the members of Covenant Church with supernatural comfort that surpasses this world's understanding, and grant them peace that defies explanation. Please pour out your mercies on the leaders of the church in the days to come, so that they may have wisdom and compassion for their grieving congregation. We pray that the devil would not be able to sow division within their midst, but instead that this tragedy would serve to strengthen the church. Help them to believe the gospel during these dark days and to proclaim it to a world that desperately needs it. Lord, we also ask that you would open the eyes of the perpetrator's parents so that they may turn to you and receive your grace. Finally, we pray for our nation's repentance. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and turn our hearts towards you. Help us to cast aside idols of sexual immorality, hatred, and pride. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Sovereign King. Amen.

Prayer for Jeffersonville City Councilman Scott Hawkins
Dear Father of all creation,
We thank you for your immense power and wisdom in creating us, and for your tender and caring watch over us. We are grateful for your loving and merciful grace, which saved us. We also express our appreciation for placing us in Jeffersonville and for the people and leadership of this city. We pray for Councilman Scott Hawkins, asking that you provide for all of his physical and spiritual needs. Please grant him a pure heart and sound mind so that he can use the authority you have given him on the city council for your glory and the good of the people of Jeffersonville. Help him to discern between right and wrong, good and evil, and when to act and when not to act. May he remember the limits of his authority and have a heart to protect the liberties of the people and promote what is good, including the gospel of your Son. We pray that you give him the courage to stand up for what is right. We entrust all of this into your capable hands, and we pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Sovereign King. Amen.

Church History Spotlight
John Donne- Poet, and Preacher
31 March 1631

"All mankind is one volume. When one man dies, one chapter is torn out of the book and translated into a better language. And every chapter must be so translated. God employs several translators. Some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice. But God's hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to another."

Donne (rhymes with "sun") was born in 1573 (his father died in 1576) into a Roman Catholic family, and from 1584 to 1594 was educated at Oxford and Cambridge and Lincoln's Inn (this last a highly regarded law school). He became an Anglican (probably around 1594) and aimed at a career in government. He joined with Raleigh and Essex in raids on Cadiz and the Azores, and became private secretary to Sir Thomas Egerton. But in 1601 he secretly married Anne More, the 16-year-old niece of Egerton, and her enraged father had Donne imprisoned. The years following were years of poverty, debt, illness, and frustration. In 1615 he was ordained, perhaps largely because he had given up hope of a career in Parliament.

From the above information, the reader might conclude that Donne's professed religious belief was mere opportunism. But the evidence of his poetry is that, long before his ordination, and probably beginning with his marriage, his thoughts were turned toward holiness, and he saw in his wife Anne (as Dante had earlier seen in Beatrice) a glimpse of the glory of God, and in human love a revelation of the nature of Divine Love. His poetry, mostly written before his ordination, includes poems both sacred and secular, full of wit, puns, paradoxes, and obscure allusions at whose meanings we can sometimes only guess, presenting amorous experience in religious terms.

After his ordination, his reputation as a preacher grew steadily. From 1622 until his death he was Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and drew huge crowds to hear him, both at the Cathedral and at Paul's Cross, an outdoor pulpit nearby. His prose style is in some ways outdated, but his theme continues to fascinate: "the paradoxical and complex predicament of man as he both seeks and yet draws away from the inescapable claim of God on him."
Various collections of his sermons (a ten-volume complete edition and a one-volume selection) have been published. Most anthologies of English poetry contain at least a few of his poems, and it is a poor college library that does not have a complete set of them. His friend Izaak Walton (author of The Compleat Angler) has written a biography.
“No Man is an Island Entire of Itself”- John Donne
Upcoming Events:
Tuesday Morning Study Hour With Pastor 6-7AM
April 3 Monthly Outreach
April 7 Good Friday Service
April 12 Women’s Bible Study
April 16 Ben’s Ordination- Fellowship Meal
April 19 King’s Men and Daughters of the King
April 22 Thunder Over Louisville