It's Holy Week

It's Holy Week

I had a few people ask me about the reflection on Palm/Passion Sunday so I thought I would post it here for your perusal.  Hope you are having a blessed Holy Week and we will see you in church. 

Remember we have services Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, and (of course) Sunday.  Though I know most of you will be there Sunday, I remind you that the church celebrates the THREE DAYS of Easter, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  The three go together as they remind us of all that Christ has done for us.  So please make it a priority to make at least those three.  But may God Bless you and keep you.

Passion Sunday Reflection from April 17th

God, the creator of heaven and earth, the one who our of his own goodness made all that is seen and unseen. God gave us life. From nothing God brought us into being and formed us, man and woman in his own image breathing his very breath into us so that we would exist and live – and we would be children of God.

But we are human, and instead of following our Lord and our God, instead of staying in that perfect communion living face to face with God – we decided that our own way was better. We decided that we wanted to be like God – for it was not enough that the one who is all there is had birthed up from nothing – and that he was the truth, and the light, and all goodness – it was not enough – and we humans decided to follow our own way. Perhaps we thought that being loved so much and being so cherished by the Father meant that we need only take one step higher and we would set ourselves up as the most high.

And we who were brought into existence by the very breath of God, took that same breath and used it to curse our Creator, our Father, and Sin became the way of the day. Sin infiltrated us, Sin which is death, which is absence from God, which is rebellion – became the way we lived – turning and rebelling and thinking that we OURSELVES were God.

But our heavenly Father never stopped loving us, never gave up. He was faithful when we were faithless, he was consistent when we continually faded away, he gave and gave and gave – when all we could do was take and take – and abuse the many gifts that he had given us. Yet all this time he always welcomed, coaxed and led us back and closer to him. Not for his own sake, but for the sake of us, the rebellious children who were literally LOST and NOTHING without him.

The problem was that we had offended, we had done wrong, we had turned and rejected God – and we still continue to do the same. But God still loved, and loves us. God wanted to ensure that we would know that he loves us – that he is our God – that despite the offense, despite our wrongs, he still called us into his life.
But we stiff necked, hard hearted humans needed proof. We could not set the tables right ourselves. We can see from our point of view that there is nothing we could do – on our own – to make things right. Even If we spent eternity doing good deeds, if we gave up all we had and devoted our lives to prayer, nothing we could do on our own – nothing we could ever do would enable us to MAKE things right. The offense was too great. Humanity who was temporary had spit in the face of God who was eternal. From our point of view Hope was lost.

But – not for our Lord and our God. When we could do nothing, when we could not set the accounts right – God himself did the unthinkable. God showed up. God was born a human – God lived in a human body in the one we knew as Jesus of Nazareth. And this God and man who we call Messiah was the one who came to walk with us and teach us while at the same time still keeping the heavens in their places and guiding the atoms in their intereactions. When all hope was Lost – God came down to us. God lived with us – God took on this foolish corruptible flesh – and walked with us in Jesus our Savior and our Christ.

For our sake, this God almighty, the one who showed up in the burning bush, the one who spoke with Moses, the one who walked with us this far – for our sake this God – Jesus Christ – died for us. When we could do nothing to eliviate the burden of sin – Jesus took the sin of the world into himself. Jesus took on the punishment that should have been ours, showing us that JESUS HIMSELF has made our accounts clear. Showing us that JESUS HIMSELF – died on a cross showing you and me that God would rather sacrifice himself – than have you ever think that he would want to live without you. Jesus died on the cross for the burden and the guilt of our sin – so that today I can stand here and say to you –

LOOK TO JESUS – HE IS PROOF THAT GOD LOVES YOU – IF YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO BE PUNISHED, JESUS HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE PUNISHMENT – LOOK AT THE GRACE, LOOK AT THE MERCY – WHEN YOU COULDN’T SAVE YOURSELF – JESUS SAVED YOU – THERE ARE NO BARRIERS BETWEEN YOU AND CHRIST AND YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER – THERE IS NOT ACCOUNT TO BE PAID – ONLY FORGIVENESS AND LOVE.

And because of all of this – because of what Jesus has done – you and I will live – we will live eternally with the one who is goodness and mercy and grace, we will live with the one who was betrayed by us – we who turned away, we who continually fall short, we who crucified him. But the great and powerful God gave ALL for us. And still does.

Therefore, let us hear the story as we begin this Holy Week of the one who bled and died so that you might never fear that you were apart from your God.

+May God Bless you this Week

Pastor Mike

 

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