Pastor Mary Beth’s Musings: March 29, 2018

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WMary Beth Hardesty-Crouchalk with Jesus During Holy Week

A few years ago, I was with a few preschoolers and we were talking about Jesus and how much he liked to eat with his friends. I began telling them about a very special dinner that Jesus had with his friends one night during which Jesus talked about how much he loved his friends and how they should love each other. Well, one of those little girls, she knew where I was headed and pretty soon, her hand was waving and she just couldn’t sit still with her excitement. When I finally looked her way, she saw that as her opening and cried out, “And he came back from the dead! Jesus came back from the dead!!” Now, I wasn’t to that part of the story yet! But she knew how the story would end, and she just couldn’t wait to get there!

Oh, isn’t that so true for all of us?! We so love the good news of Easter and the resurrection that sometimes we just can’t wait to get to that part of the story. We’d really like to just skip past the betrayal, the loneliness, the denial, the abandonment, the pain, the suffering, our sadness and just get to the good stuff. But can we really fully appreciate the joy of Easter if we don’t remember the commandment to “love each as I have loved you?” Can we fully appreciate the sacrifice if we don’t look the hard stuff straight on and see the brokenness of the world and our own sin of abandonment and denial? Can we feel the awe and wonder of God’s great power in the resurrection if we haven’t walked to the cross with Jesus?

There are a number of opportunities for us to walk with Jesus at the end of this Holy Week:

Maundy Thursday, 7 p.m. – Sharing communion and music as we remember and share in that same special dinner of love that Jesus had with his friends.
Good Friday, 6:30 a.m. – The Service of the Cross begins this holy day with prayer and meditation.
Good Friday, 7 p.m. – “The Power of the Cross,” a Good Friday cantata presented by the Music and Arts Ministry.

You and I know there’s more to the story. It does not end in death on Friday night, but will continue with a new beginning on Sunday morning. As my preschool friend proclaimed to me and all her friends, the good news is, “Jesus came back from the dead!”

I’m praying for you. I hope you’re praying for me!

Glory to God!
Pastor Mary Beth

P.S. Nursery care will be available for 2 years and younger and special activities will be provided for children ages 3-7 on Thursday and Friday evening.