Dear Sisters and Brothers –
Reading through the “Journey to the Passion of Jesus” texts this week, I so identify with the disciples. They are at a pivotal point, facing an unknown future – and they are so sad, pathetic really, in the way they don’t get what is happening. In a swirl of confusion and anxiety they utterly fail Jesus. All of which I find surprisingly comforting. Because the Lord doesn’t give up on them, which is to say he doesn’t give up on us. He doesn’t say, “Ok you guys, I’ve so had it with you. Enough. Go try Buddha.” In fact, they will soon be on the receiving end of everything Jesus has to give:
If God has done anything at First Pres. in the last couple years, God has called us out of our comfort zones. As a congregation we are up to our eyeballs in the unknown, experiencing not a little vulnerability and anxiety ourselves. Apparently, this is pretty much the job description for disciples (translate: students of Jesus, people apprenticed to him). We are called to lean into that unknown, the unfamiliar, the fear, the loss, and all that freaks us out – and learn to follow Jesus, even if it’s two steps forward, one back (or even one forward, two back).
Truthfully, I think I’ve probably lived too much of my life with a sense of dread and gloom. You know, bad things happen to good people. The worst is yet to come. We’re doomed. Play it safe. Just. Give. Up. Now.
But the cross and resurrection say something different. Yes, there’s death, but ultimately there’s new life. This is what God is up to: New creation. God’s not dead, but on the loose in the world! Think about that: I mean, what if we let the gospel really happen to us?!
Speaking of being outside of one’s comfort zone – the Good Friday Event – an art exhibit – being hosted by Sanctuary Church in the FPCS Chapel, on Friday night 7-9pm, just might do that for us! But perhaps God just might have a prophetic word to say to us through it? Come and observe and listen…
The sermon text for Sunday is John 20:1-18. I think you know this one, but go ahead and give it a read through a few times in anticipation of Sunday…
And, since Easter falls on April 1, to close with an April Fools metaphor, resurrection gets the last laugh…so hope I don’t offend too many by signing off with this irreverent cartoon:
Grace and peace friends!