3/21/2015 7:35:19 AM
I'm going to be fooled on April 1st
Posted under: Messenger
Pastor's Message in April's The Messenger.
And this is a little embarrassing. I mean, I know April 1st is coming. Pranks are going to happen. And, every year, someone gets me. Like clockwork, a fake news story, false press release, or a post on Facebook hooks me and I fall for it. I immediately send messages to my family, pointing out the amazing things I just saw, and every one write back: "Do you know what day it is?"
The devotional book we're using this Lent, Grace & Peace, shares Ephesians 3:7-8 on April 1: "Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God's grace that was given me by the working of his power. Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ." As Lent ends and we walk together through the final three days before Easter, we're reminded of these boundless riches. On April 2nd, Maundy Thursday, we share in the Communion and wash feet, participating in Jesus' continuing acts of service and love for the sake of our relationship with each other and with God. On April 3rd, we stand at the foot of the Cross, living in the paradox that a dying savior destroys death. And, on Easter morning, we wake up to a new day knowing that, through Christ, we are continually being raised up by God to love and become who God calls us to be.
The end of Lent and the beginning of Easter carries a sense of foolishness and mystery. There's little about the Cross that feels like victory. Jesus, dying to reconcile us to God, doesn't match our experiences of power and strength. Death and weakness is something we run away from. Yet, through death and weakness, God brings about love and hope. This is a season of the unexpected. God's work is unexpected. Jesus' experience is unexpected. And God's boundless love for us and the world is unexpected too. But God's love is just what God does. God continues to go out, engaging us in our lives and in our world, giving grace and faith so that we can love just as God loves. We're changed because Jesus does something foolish in our eyes. We're loved because God felt we were worth dying for. Each day is God's day. We awake, renewed and cared for by this foolish God who holds us close, pouring love, grace, and mercy into us, and asking: "Do you know what day it is?"
See you in church!