John Ortberg writes about a friend who was estranged for many years from her father who lived in the hills of Appalachia. He was famous as a one-armed fiddler who held the bow between his knees and wowed crowds throughout eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. He had rejected the Lord for some time and was probably the only mountain fiddler who would not play gospel tunes. A time of reconciliation finally occurred shortly before his death. More importantly, he found forgiveness through repentance of his sins and reliance on Christ as his personal Savior. On the daughter’s last night with him in the hospital, he asked for his fiddle and played the gospel song, “I’ll Fly Away.” When he finished he gave her a little smile and a nod, then truly “flew away to God’s celestial shore.”
At this special Palm Sunday weekend, many of our seasonal friends are driving or flying away to their homes up north. We see the car-carriers going up I-75. If you are one of those who will be leaving us soon, we certainly pray for a safe journey, but also that you will return to us. Most importantly, our prayer is that you know the Lord, follow Him and worship Him wherever you go.
Like those who “took branches of palm trees” and met Jesus on His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we say, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” One meaning of “Hosanna” is “Save now.” Don’t wait until next season for salvation or until you are in a familiar northern church. “Today is the day of salvation.”
On Easter weekend, we will see this as prime time for people to hear about the glorious resurrection victory of Christ. Utilize our invite cards to tell about our Good Friday service, as well as one of the Saturday and Sunday services. People are more responsive to coming to the house of the Lord at Easter and Christmas than at any other time. No one has an “estimated time of arrival” after departure from earth, but we can be piloted by Christ.
Whether it is with a fiddle or guitar, our worship music seeks to praise the Lord. The genius composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, would begin each composition by writing, “JJ” - Jesu, Jusa, “Jesus, help me.” At the end of a piece, he would write three letters - S.D.G. (Soli Deo Gloria) - “To the glory of God.” We praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His atoning death and His glorious resurrection. Let’s welcome Him into our worship times.