Churches all over the country will be concluding the Lenten season with Holy Week observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
The Newton Church of The Way is offering a time of prayer and reflection with a full week of prayer.
“We want to give the community of Newton a chance to come and have a time of reflection and prayer during Holy Week,” Newton Church of the Way Pastor Steve Heerema said. “We will have the worship center open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Heerema found himself being in the worship center during his free time at The Way. He has been in prayer and reflection for the community of Newton.
“I have been reading the Bible from Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to his crucifixion on the cross,” Heerema said. “This open invitation to pray in the worship center is about having an experience of getting away from the noise of life and be able to develop the relationship between God and you.”
Newton Church of The Way’s congregation has a goal of completing 24 hours of prayer leading up to Sunday.
“We’re doing this together as a church, but focusing on our personal one-on-one relationship with Jesus,” Heerema said. “It’s a chance for us to have a conversation with the risen Jesus Christ and celebrating that he is alive.”
“It has been the dream of people to have an invitation of spending the day with Jesus, but most of us find ourselves caught up in our personal lives,” Heerema continued. “Sometimes, people can’t get away from the noise of life to enjoy the silence to be able to hear the soft whisper of Jesus talking to them.”
Anyone who has been in attendance knows that Sunday morning worship at The Way brings about a noise.
“On Sunday morning, during Praise and Worship, we’re known to be a rocking church, but we recognize that we must take some quiet time to reflect and have a personal relationship with Jesus,” Heerema said.
Easter Sunday is a traditional Sunday when many people will be coming to service to celebrate Easter. For Heerema, the service will still have the same goal.
“We will be what we’re about every Sunday, inviting everyone to have that personal relationship with Jesus,” Heerema said. “For them to know that all the head knowledge won’t get you any closer to Jesus, but a relationship is the key to knowing him.”
Heerema looks up at the cross, thinking about the sacrifice for his and others’ sin. He was injured while playing football at University of Northern Iowa, the doctors had to put pins in his wrists.
“I didn’t use pain medication and I thought to myself that I have never been in so much pain in my life,” Heerema said. “It made me wonder about the pain Jesus went through having nails put through his hands.”
Heerema has had a chance to experience the journey of Jesus through Holy Week with his journey to Jerusalem with visiting the proven locations and sites that were believed to be the location.
“I went to the Garden of Gethsemane and walked Via Dolorosa,” Heerema said. “The one thing that I have always taken from my journey is that it’s reality filled with messy grit and dirt very ugly and sandy.”
“It made me wonder if Jesus would walk into a fancy church to look for reality,” Heerema said. “He just wants something real, which is simply a relationship with you.”
Staff writer Zach Johnson may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.