Astronomical events have been making headlines lately. On April 8, the orbits of Mars, Earth, and the sun fell into a straight line in a rare cosmic alignment called an opposition. Precisely one week later, we will see the first of four extremely unusual total lunar eclipses.
Is there any significance to these extraordinary celestial events? Could it be that God is using the sun, moon, and stars to communicate with us and to announce things to come? The answer is yes!
The Bible is clear that the sun, moon, and stars are connected to Israel and biblical prophecy. Throughout history God has used the science of astronomy (never astrology!) in connection with historical events to write prophetic messages in the heavens. more >>
President Barack Obama hosted religious leaders from various denominations on Monday for the fifth annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, taking time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the "glory of the resurrection."
"We're reminded how He loves us, so deeply, that He gave his only begotten Son so that we might live through Him. And in these Holy Days, we recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds and the pain of the crucifixion, in our Christian religious tradition we celebrate the glory of the Resurrection – all so that we might be forgiven of our sins and granted everlasting life," Obama said.
His Easter reflection came after he made a few remarks about Sunday's shooting at two Jewish facilities in Kansas. Three people were killed outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and at a Jewish assisted-living facility nearby. The suspect was identified as Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, a white supremacist. Overland Park authorities have classified the shooting as a hate crime. more >>
NEW YORK — Pastor Carl Lentz, who has been leading Hillsong NYC for more than three years, recently said that serving New York City will always be central to the vision and mission of the megachurch.
"The vision of Hillsong Church hasn't changed for 30 years," Lentz told The Christian Post, speaking of the ministry founded in 1983 by Brian and Bobbie Houston in Sydney, Australia.
"If anything, we're trying to continue to encourage people," he added. "The vision of our church is to serve New York City, so that's never gonna change." more >>
For Jews and Christians, the Passover season is a special time for reflection on the rich spiritual truths contained within this remarkable holiday. Indeed, we can all observe the command to "remember" the incredible Israelite deliverance from bondage in Egypt.
For Christians, the events of a momentous Passover some 15 centuries later have given added meaning to this holiday, so that the truths of the first are reinforced in the latter. Deliverance from Pharaoh's taskmasters became freedom from slavery to sin. The blood of a lamb on the doorposts became a typology of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
Yet the parallels between Pesach and Easter were lost for centuries to most Christians when the early Church fathers deliberately severed our faith from its Jewish roots. In time, this hostility to Judaism produced vicious blood libels against Jews at Passover. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Saddleback Church founder Pastor Rick Warren plans to preach at two Easter Sunday worship services at Hollywood High School as part of launching a church campus in Los Angeles.
"We have been planning this for years and praying for it and I'm so excited to have a Saddleback campus in the heart of the great city of Los Angeles," says Warren in a promotional radio announcement.
The 1,800-seat Hollywood High auditorium along with the school's parking area will be used by Saddleback for the Easter services on April 20. No specific plans regarding where the Los Angeles campus will be located or when services will begin after Easter have been released by the church. However, more than 1,000 people have already expressed an interest in the regional and international campus by way of joining an email list and more than 300 volunteers have signed up to help host the Easter services at Hollywood High. more >>
Graphic designer and communications expert Stephen Fogg, who works for Crossway Baptist Church in Melbourne, Australia, recently gave special attention to the website pages of churches promoting Easter services by showcasing a top eight list on his blog.
"Easter is a great time to be inspired by the creativity coming from other churches. As I look online and see what other churches around the world are creating on their websites to promote their Easter services I'm amazed at the talent out there," writes Fogg. "I love the strategy, creativity and work that communication peeps, designers, videographers put into crafting a great online experience for Easter."
The list, along with images of the websites, includes (in no particular order) The Chapel in the Chicagoland, Ill.; Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.; Mars Hill Church based in Seattle; Fellowship Church in Texas; Hillsong in locations throughout the world; Mariners Church based in Irvine, Calif.; NewSpring Church in South Carolina; and Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area. more >>