Firstfruits began with an idea: How could women’s needs to gather with other women, experience God’s love and go forth more centered on their own giftedness and purpose be met? Then the Holy Spirit stepped in and something powerful happened!
In the beginning … Firstfruits began as a vision for a women’s ministry whose purpose was to gather women to experience God’s love. And as a result, be transformed!

As word spread about this unique opportunity, other parishes became interested in hosting a Firstfruits gathering. It became apparent to the founders of Firstfruits that this “gathering” needed to be moveable. We became known as a moveable feast of spiritual opportunities for women.

You Are Loved

Here we go, we’ve arrived at Holy Week. There’s a light at the end of the Lenten tunnel. Pretty soon we can stop feeling guilty that our Lenten resolve dissolved in week two. We can start doing those things we gave up and stop doing those things we started, like sacrificially turning my husband’s t-shirts right side out when he throws them in the laundry inside out. Argh…….

I say this tongue in cheek because we aren’t to look at Lent as a time to deny ourselves something and gut it out until Easter then go back to indulging. We really should be looking at our self-denial as an everyday practice. That discipline makes us holy and not just for a week!

Holy, by definition, means specially recognized as or declared sacred: consecrated or set apart. Do you, do I, recognize this week as sacred and set it apart from the other weeks of the year? Do we really appreciate this week for what it means?

You might be thinking, how can I recognize and set apart this week, make it different, make it sacred, when I have an Easter gathering for 30 at my house on Sunday. Oh, the lists and the cleaning! Or are you sarcastically reacting to this notion by thinking sure, I recognize this week all right, it’s the last few days I have to shop and pack for our vacation on Wednesday. Holy Week? Holy Cow.

I mentioned in one of my previous blogs the Good Friday service I attended when a woman asked me if I would move over in the pew because I was sitting in her usual spot and she could grieve better in that spot. This was years ago but it had a profound impact on me. She grieved the death of Jesus as if he were a close friend or family member. That’s sacred, that’s holy.

That is what this Holy Week is all about. The more we can truly grasp the enormity of God’s love and the sacrifice of Jesus the more we will grieve and the more we grieve on Good Friday, the greater the joy come Easter morning knowing Jesus has risen and with his rising comes the gift of eternal life for all!

During Lent we offered Weekly Word followed by Mary’s Way of the Cross every Friday morning at Firstfruits. In Weekly Word we were lead through the readings for the following Sunday. Many of the readings reminded us of the deep, deep covenant love of God for his people, for us. Watching the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of his mother you can’t help but come away with a new-found appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made out of a deep, deep love for his people, for us. Hard to wrap our minds around, but truth.

So wherever you are on Good Friday, whether it’s in church, in the grocery store, or on the beach take a minute around noon to stop and grieve. Grieve and show gratitude to Jesus for his sacrifice. That is sacred, that is holy.

Then come Easter morning may we all feel the joy of new life, new birth because we are loved!

Blessings to you and all those you love from Firstfruits.

Joan

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Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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